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Found 99 results

  1. The following is a review of Ignis Purgatio & Ragnarok, the twin tier VIII Japanese premium battleships for the Warhammer 40,000 crossover. These ships have been provided to me by Wargaming at no cost to myself. To the best of my knowledge the statistics discussed in this review are accurate as of patch 0.9.5. Please be aware their performance (and their spelling) may change in the future. For those unaware, I have a long history of fandom with Games Workshop's Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 settings. My older brother was a huge influence on me when I was little. Everything he did was immediately fascinating. Despite the years between us, I did my utmost to try and keep up. The source books were among the many edgy things my older brother collected, including Dungeons & Dragons, alternative comics and weird figurines. As the starry eyed, overly enthusiastic and horribly destructive younger sister, I was of course banned from having access to this stuff which was squirreled away in his room. Oh, I would get to see him reading it from time to time, but sibling territoriality ensured I never got within six feet of those books, which only drove my curiousity further. That was until he went off on some school trip for a weekend. My ever industrious mother decided to take the opportunity to deep-clean the dungeon in which he slept. All of that stuff (along with most of his furniture) just-so happened to get moved to the front hallway while she tried to delaminate the layers of accumulated boy-stink from the walls. You can guess what happened next -- I snuck off with as many books as I could carry. Grandfather Nurgle always looks so jolly. This is how I got to sit down with the seminal works Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness (1988) and it's sequel Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned (1990). There was also this super dorky book called Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (1987) that made less of an impression, but this Emperor-guy was pretty cool for desiccated corpse. It was the former two, especially The Lost and the Damned which had a lasting influence upon me. It kindled a love of the over-the-top gothic horror that defined a lot of Games Workshop's earlier works. I soon got into collecting books, magazines and miniatures myself. That interest has carried on to this day. One of my Warlord Titans from Adeptus Titanicus (2019) sits upon my computer desk and I have a Lord of Change with resplendent rainbow plumage attended by some wiggly Horrors on my book shelf. So you can kinda guess that the collaboration between Wargaming and Games Workshop has me making happier noises than a daemonette playing with a chainsword. The elements of this crossover relevant to this article are a pair of clones based upon the tier VIII Japanese tech-tree battleship Amagi; the Imperium of Man's Ignis Purgatio and the Primordial Annihilator's Ragnarok. Quick Summary: A pair of identical Amagi-class battleships with improved dispersion but reduced rate of fire over the tech-tree ship. PROS Trollish citadel protection, with surprisingly thick armour. Massive ten 410mm gun broadside with enormous alpha-strike potential. Good dispersion with 1.9 sigma. Excellent AP penetration. Good HE damage. Super accurate secondaries. CONS Weak belt armour, prone to taking penetration hits. 33s reload on main battery. Secondaries have a maximum of a 7.56km range. Poor agility with a large, 870m turning circle radius and pedestrian 4º/s rate of turn. Horrible AA firepower. Horrible concealment. Ignis Purgatio, resplendent in spite of her hidden typo. Ragnarok, without any spelling errors, which makes her clearly superior, you Imperial lapdogs. Versus Amagi Contrary to Wargaming's 0.9.5 patch notes, Ignis Purgatio and Ragnarok are not exact copies of Amagi. They're close -- very close, even. They mirror the tech-tree ship in almost every regard. The amount of overlap is so prevalent that I won't cover everything about these ships, just merely some interesting highlights. However, there are two things which set these ships apart. When playing these ships, one of these elements is immediately noticeable. The other is not. Amagi has 1.8 sigma on her main battery guns. The new ships have 1.9 sigma. Amagi has a 30 second reload on her main battery guns. The new ships have 33 seconds. Head-faked with a Sigma Buff A difference of 0.1 sigma is a bit of a booby prize, I'm afraid. Consider these two dispersion fields: Standard dispersion tests. This is 180 AP shells fired at a stationary Fuso bot without camouflage sitting 15km away. Both Amagi and Ragnarok were using the Aiming System Modification 1 upgrade. Shots came in from right to left -- the Fuso is effectively bow-tanking. Without labels, they're difficult to tell apart -- and let's keep in mind that this is as sterile a comparison as can be made under perfect conditions against a static target. Taken into the chaos of a live match, these differences all but disappear. The best players in the game are unable to tell the difference between battleships with 1.8 sigma and 2.0 sigma on a per-game basis -- the average player has no hope in Hell of being able to find value in the 1.9 sigma boasted by Ignis Purgatio and Ragnarok over Amagi's 1.8. This is the sort of change that will show up over the long-term performance of the ships -- it's a Spreadsheet™ statistic. You won't be able to tell on a per-game basis, never mind a per-shot basis. In short: on a per-game basis, Ignis Purgatio and Ragnarok have functionally the same accuracy as Amagi. Let me be clear: Ignis Purgatio and Ragnarok DO have better dispersion but it's not significant enough for you to ever be able to notice its influence. Sucker-punched with a Reload Nerf What players will notice (and notice right away) is the three seconds lost every time these new battleships fire. This is pretty harsh though their ten-gun broadsides still keep them as contenders for some of the best damage out-put at tier VIII with their AP shells. So the three seconds lost is more awkward than damning. Ten guns is a rarity at tier VIII. Even sixteen-inch guns aren't standard so it's pretty easy for Ragnarok and Ignis Purgatio to stand apart from their contemporaries. Approximate penetration values for IJN 410mm AP shells. These ships are hella dangerous at all ranges with their AP shells able to land reliable damage to battleship targets even at a distance. Japanese HE shells have a meaty chunk of damage tied to them. But their fire chance is kinda crappy. Amagi is Better From a pure performance point of view, Amagi is the original and best. If you want to try these ships out for yourself, play Amagi and each time you fire, count to three before you pull the trigger. Bam, there you go. You're experiencing Ragnarok and Ignis Purgatio. Miscellaneous Points of Interest Other than her guns, there are three elements about the Amagi-class I find interesting. First off, there's her citadel protection: Compiled from GameModels3D.com showing the different thickness of Amagi's turtleback armour. It's 102mm thick over the magazines and 95mm over the machine spaces. Amagi is notoriously difficult to citadel, especially at close ranges. This isn't because of her turtleback but rather her submersed citadel. Short of dunking shells into the water just before the ship's hull, you're not going to land citadel hits against her up close. At a distance, she's more vulnerable, but only if your shells have a lot of penetration combined with a noticeable shell fall angle. Despite having turtleback geometry to her citadel, this isn't a separate plate the way it is with German battleships. Furthermore, the sloping of this part of the citadel is too shallow to prompt any kind of ricochet check. Thus Amagi tends to be more vulnerable to citadel hits from long range from high-penetration guns. The net effect here is that while Amagi can take citadel hits, her armour is notoriously troll for resisting them. You can have her dead to rights with a near perfect broadside and only get penetrations rather than devastating hits to her machine spaces. For ships with more exposed citadels taking Amagi on in a joust, this will often be their last mistake. Speaking of jousting and brawls, did you know that Amagi has "Massachusetts" secondaries? It's more accurate to say that Massachusetts has Amagi secondaries. All of the large-caliber secondary guns have improved dispersion. Were it not for Amagi's horrible secondary range of 5km (7.56km when fully upgraded) they might be worth investing into. Reference Mahan (104m) for scale. Amagi has the same dispersion as Massachusetts with her 140mm secondaries. They will shred a destroyer in short order, but only if you get them inside of suicidal (for you) ranges. You don't have the agility to dodge the inevitable walls of fish unless they derp massively. Finally, it's worth addressing just how butts her agility is. While she has decent straight line speed, her rate of turn and turning circle radius is flirting with Russian mayonnaise. There's a reason these things tend to fight from a distance. At the time of publishing, Azur Lane's Littorio and Champagne are still works in progress and subject to change. Final Evaluation These two ships aren't very compelling in terms of a design choice when you have free and premium alternatives. These Warhammer 40,000 ships are really only worthwhile for their cosmetic value, not their game play performance. If it's optimized Amagi game play you're looking for, get Ashitaka -- nearly the same Amagi performance but a whole tier lower. If you want gimmicky Amagi performance, get Kii. Alternatively, if Amagi is really your jam, you could just take the same cash-value and glue a premium camouflage onto Amagi herself if that's more your speed. There's nothing wrong with Ignis Purgatio and Ragnarok. But let's not kid ourselves that they offer anything compelling in terms of game play that you can't already get for free with Amagi. They're a downgrade but with some very cool skins. I don't think much more needs be said than that. Do try and surive the hype-train. Lookit what I found. Yeah, I recognized Chaos rune-script and took the time to translate it. Get on my level, nerds.
  2. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: California

    The following is a review of California, the tier VII American battleship. This ship has been provided to me by Wargaming for evaluation purposes -- I did not have to pay for this thing, which is a good thing because I would have felt offended had I shelled out money for this horribly mistreated piece of history. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this article are current as of patch 0.9.5.1. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. I'm not going to waste too much time on this review (she says, and then spends four whole days on it). USS California's inclusion in World of Warships bothers me on so many levels. I should preface this by saying that I love the American standard-type battleships. I think they are some of the most interesting warships of the Second World War. They are phoenixes that rose from the ashes of Pearl Harbor. Despite their outdated designs, they went on to not only find a role in the fast-modernizing US Navy but they went on to engage triumphantly in one of the final battleship surface actions in history. They could have just as easily remained a footnote in the war, left behind by fate. So, you can keep your Iowas, the romance (to me) lies in names like West Virginia, Tennessee and California. This is why I took issue with West Virginia appearing in her Pearl Harbor mien and not that of Surigao Strait. So imagine my disappointment when, against all advice, Wargaming stuck to their guns and pulled a copy-paste job of USS Arizona's performance and tacked it onto California. Now, let me be clear: Arizona, the tier VI American premium, is awesome. Lert really helped me appreciate the game play of the "American Bricks" way back in 2016. However, I do not love Arizona so much that I think cloning her game play and asking people to pay a premium price tag for a tier VII version is right. While California does have some minor improvements over Arizona, they are (in my opinion) inconsequential. I fear that these buffs will blindside people to what is nothing more than an already existing tier VI premium with a tier VII price tag. With that in mind, this review is going to myopically focus on the differences between Arizona and California and why one ship is worth the money and the other is a slap in the face. As much as I need a break right now, USS California is a big enough name to elicit sales simply merely by reputation. I know it. You know it. Wargaming knows it too. I want to head off any impulse purchases and warn players that they're not getting a ship worthy of California's name. Quick Summary: A slow American standard-type battleship with horrible gun firing arcs but improved long-range gunnery with her twelve 356mm guns. She has excellent AA firepower. PROS Fully submerged citadel. Heavy broadside of twelve 356mm/50 guns. Long ranged with a starting reach of 19.9km which can be extended to as much as 27.7km between upgrades and consumables. Decent gunnery dispersion with 1.9 sigma. Small turning circle radius of 640m. Excellent AA firepower, equivalent to a tier VIII American battleship. Good concealment with a surface detection as low as 11.8km. CONS Painfully long, 34.2s reload. 356mm guns lack overmatching ability against targets with 25mm+ extremities. Horrible gun handling and appalling gun firing angles. Very slow top speed of 20.5 knots and poor handling as a result despite her smaller turning circle radius. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging/ Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / MODERATE / High / Extreme California isn't difficult to play. Picking her up and farming some damage is pretty easy. Were it not for her horribly slow speed, I'd have given her a 'simple' rating. All you really need to know are the battleship basics: use the correct ammo, beware of flashing your sides, try not to get left behind. California's speed is a severe handicap, but you knew that coming in. California gets no tools to seriously mitigate this. Long range is nice, so flex those aiming skills you've acquired, but her gun caliber and long reload will largely limit the impact this has. You can largely forget applying those brawling skills or getting to cap or even angling to mitigate damage -- it's just not applicable. There's a pretty hard cap on how far skill will take you with this ship. Options There's nothing too surprising about California's options. She conforms to the norms for American battleships. She doesn't get access to Aiming Systems Modification 1 to reduce her main battery gun dispersion. Instead, she has Gun Fire Control Modification 1 which increases her main battery gun range. Consumables California's Damage Control Party is standard for an American battleship. It comes with unlimited charges and an 80s reset timer. For US battleships, this is active for 20 seconds rather than the 15 seconds for other nations, so bonus there. Her Repair Party is also standard. It queues up 50% of penetration damage, 10% of citadel damage and 100% of all other damage types. Each charge heals a base of up to 14% of the ship's health over 28 seconds. She starts with four charges. In her third slot, you have the choice between a Spotting Aircraft and a Catapult Fighter. The former increases range by 20% for 100 seconds. It comes with four charges and a four minute reset timer. Her fighter is active for a mere 60 seconds (like all Battleship fighters) and resets in 90 seconds. It has three charges base and sends up a squadron of 3 planes. Upgrades There should be no surprises for anyone here. Build for survivability and fire resistance. Start with Main Armaments Modification 1. In the second slot, begin your fire resistance build with Damage Control Systems Modification 1. Most people are going to want to spring for more range for California and thus Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 will seem optimal. However, once you get behind the helm of California and play with her (as I have), you'll come to hate her sluggish gun traverse as much as I do and Main Battery Modification 2 will look hella appealing. Damage Control Systems Modification 2 is your best choice for slot four, however, given California's ridiculously-poor fire angles, you will not be blamed for reaching for Steering Gears Modification 1 in order to help with rudder shift time to swing her butt out and back in between salvos. Commander Skills Time to re-use a graphic because battleship skill optimization has stagnated! Same old, same old. Build for fire-resistance first, then double back for your other skills. You probably want Expert Marksman over Adrenaline Rush on your first pass. Camouflage California has access to two camouflage patterns: Type 10 Camouflage – California and Freedom -- California. The two are merely cosmetic swaps of each other, providing the same benefits. You'll probably have to shell out some extra cash for the Freedom camo, whether that will be through a bundle or with doubloons after the fact. 3% bonus concealment from surface targets 4% increase to enemy gunnery dispersion 10% reduction to post-battle service costs 50% bonus to experience gains. Summary so far: Well, so far so good, I suppose. There's nothing out of the ordinary here. I dunno what's going on with California's turrets with her Freedom camouflage. Firepower Main Battery: Twelve 356mm/50 guns in 4x3 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Sixteen 127mm/38 guns in 8x2 turrets in superfiring pairs on either side of the ship facing fore and aft. Arizona & California's Main Battery Differences California has more range (19.9km vs 16km) California's AP shells do more damage (10,500 vs 10,300) California has a faster reload (34.2s vs 35s) California's AP shells have higher penetration. California's shells have higher muzzle velocity. California has higher sigma (1.9 vs 1.8). California has much reduced firing arcs (102º broadside vs 113º) California uses New Mexico's 356mm/50 caliber guns rather than Arizona's 356mm/45s. A lot of what's listed above owe to the differences of the gun calibers. Compared to New Mexico, California has increased range (19.9km vs 16.1km) and better sigma (1.9 vs 1.5) but again that horrible deficit in fire arcs (102º broadside vs 109º). So while California is an obvious gunnery upgrade over New Mexico, California is only a soft upgrade on Arizona. The biggest advantage here is her increased range with the rest largely being window-dressings. Calfornia does have a higher muzzle velocity and thus better AP penetration over distance. However this gap isn't quite as pronounced as the difference in speed would suggest as Arizona has higher Krupp, a coefficient WG uses to directly modify penetration values. California's increased rate of fire, higher shell damage and sigma are all nice but the difference is so minor as to be largely unnoticeable. California is a slow reloading, reasonably accurate 356mm armed battleship. The 0.8 second faster reload still does not make her feel like she has anything but a painfully slow rate of fire. The 0.1 sigma difference is imperceptible in game play -- you couldn't tell the difference if you tried. And finally, as nice as the extra damage is, these are still 356mm guns. Compared to the 380mm, 406mm and 410mm shells being thrown about by some of her tier mates, their individual shell performance is middling at best. Thus cutting through all of the crap, California's only significant change is her range increase over Arizona and she pays for this with truly appalling gun fire arcs. Observe: California has absolutely horrid main battery traverse rates, coming about at a glacial 60s for 180º. California has tier VI firepower with tier VII range. As much as I would like to be excited about her range, she needs it or the ship simply doesn't work. Wargaming will try and sell you this ship bragging that this reach is to California's advantage. Simply put, it's the only thing which makes this ship viable as a tier VII vessel and even then it barely passes muster. This ship is slow. Unlike Arizona which finds herself occasionally enjoying the 36km x 36km claustrophobic maps of lower tiers, California more often than not sees the 42m x 42km and 48km x 48km maps of higher tiers. That extra reach is an outright necessity to bring her guns into play before the battle moves on without her. Even then, it's often not enough. You can get a taste for this already by playing Arizona in bottom tiered matches and struggling to keep up with the pace of battle. California's reach partially mitigates this, but only partially. Her horrible gun fire angles necessitate that she swing out and show a lot more broadside in order to bring the weight of fire to bear on targets. This exaggerated manoeuvre bleeds speed (to say nothing of changing her heading and possibly navigating away from battle), further slowing her already ponderous pace. Thus her range becomes even more important. Are California's main battery guns better than Arizona's? Absolutely. Are they good enough to be tier VII guns? Sure -- they have better range and much better sigma than New Mexico's. The issue, though, is that they're not improved enough over the tier VI premium's to be worthwhile. Arizona's weapons are amazing at tier VI. California's weapons are only okay at tier VII. This means, gunnery wise, you're paying more money for a worse experience. This means for California to be worth her price tag, she's gotta make it up elsewhere. Once again, here are some dispersion tests. These are 180 shells fired at 15km locked onto the stationary Fuso bot. The bot was without camouflage. Unlike my normal dispersion tests, as Arizona and California can't equip the dispersion reducing ASM1 upgrade, their fields look comparatively larger than ships of the same tier. Shots are coming in from right to left with Fuso bow-tanking. One of these is California, the other Arizona. I'm not telling you which ship is which. If you're struggling to see a difference in as clinical and sterile a trial as this, you have no hope of feeling the difference through normal game play. In battle, targets are moving at different angles and speeds which makes any reasonable evaluation exceedingly difficult unless there is a tremendous change in performance. This is why I frown on a difference of 0.1 sigma being used as a selling feature -- it's a "spreadsheet" value that will affect a ship over the course of several games but isn't likely to be significant within a single match. A Missed Opportunity California doesn't make up for her main battery gunnery with her secondaries. California's secondaries are crap and they didn't have to be. Despite constant suggestions to give her improved accuracy and/or range on her secondaries, Wargaming wouldn't budge on keeping them standardized. These weapons are not worth upgrading any more than you would find it worthwhile to upgrade North Carolina's or Alabama's secondaries. California's AP penetration is okay. It's not high-velocity Soviet-good like Poltava's, though, nor does it have Duke of York's improved auto-ricochet angles (which shares the same penetration as KGV). Landing citadel hits against enemy battleships tends to fall off at ranges over 14km or so, but you should still be able to land penetrating hits through most belts you'll encounter. In theory, California has some pretty good AP damage output. She doesn't have boosted HE shell damage the way Japanese and British battleships do, so she's kind of lackluster there. That hurts given her inability to overmatch 25mm armour that's so commonplace within her matchmaking spread. Arizona sits just behind California in AP and HE DPM, but not so much that you'll notice in most cases. Summary so far: You're buying a longer-ranged Arizona. The 0.8s improved reload time and harder hitting AP shells are okay, but you can't feel the 0.1 sigma difference. However you're paying for the improvements with very crappy gun fire angles. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability Hit Points: 58,300 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 26mm extremities, upper hull and deck with some 31mm rear deck sections behind the superstructure. Maximum Citadel Protection: 35mm anti-torpedo bulge, 343mm belt and 44mm citadel wall. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 36% California's protection scheme is perfectly adequate for a tier VII battleship. It's comparable to Arizona's and they each have their strengths. California versus Arizona's Durability California has more health (58,300hp vs 57,200hp) Arizona has better anti-torpedo protection. No, really. (37% damage reduction for Arizona vs 36% for California) Arizona has better upper-hull armour. (Arizona has a strip of 37mm armour above her belt while California's upper hull is only 26mm). California has better deck protection (California's deck behind her superstructure and around her X & Y turrets is 31mm thick. All of Arizona's decks are 26mm). Overall, the ships are very comparable in terms of their protection and durability. While California has the slight edge in health, it pays to keep in mind that Arizona has a large hit point pool for a tier VI battleship while California is on the low side of average for tier VII. Tier for tier, Arizona is the better protected ship with her armour and hit points meaning more at tier VI than California's at tier VII. That 35mm anti-torpedo bulge covers a huge section of California's side. All things told, it's not bad for helping keep shells out (especially when angling). Her 31mm rear deck will help shatter small-caliber HE shells too, as will her 50mm armoured secondaries. Look at this chungus. This is a top-down view of California with her 343mm belt highlighted in red. You can see just how massive her 35mm anti-torpedo bulges are. Shells which fuse inside this bulge but outside of the hull spaces underneath result in zero damage penetrations. Here's a better view of how deep California's belt extends. The dark red is 343mm thick while the orange strip at the bottom is where it tapers to 273mm. In order to land citadel hits, shells must contend with her 35mm anti-torpedo bulge then her 343mm belt and finally her 44mm citadel wall. California's citadel (in yellow) is fully submerged well below the waterline. Short of adding a turtleback, it's as well protected as you could hope it to be. The most dangerous shots come from medium to long range where shells have a bit of drop going for them to strike beneath the waterline and angle towards the citadel. As good as California's lateral protection is, her big weak spot is her bow. Her stern is made up of composite layers of armour beneath the 26mm outer shell in a similar vein to Giulio Cesare's bow. It isn't anywhere near as vulnerable. But her bow? It's just the 26mm outer portion until you smack the transverse bulkheads protecting her citadel. They're not thick enough to keep battleship caliber shells out. Furthermore, that big 26mm area is just begging to receive hits from HE spam. California faces a lot more opponents that can easily best her extremity and deck armour -- not only with battleship caliber AP but also HE spam from cruisers with enough base penetration to out-muscle her structural protection. Once engaged at medium-range, there's really not much this ship can do about it short of trying to fight her way out. As we've already covered, she doesn't really have that much better of a chance of doing so than Arizona. California's protection scheme is decent for a tier VII battleship but it's nothing special either short of her anti-torpedo protection (which is good but not as amazing as the size of her bulges would suggest). She doesn't have improved heals like the British battleships. She doesn't have a nigh-impervious citadel like Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. She's missing an ice-breaker bow like the aforementioned German ships. The Soviets infamously have it too. Were it me at the helm of California's project, if improving her offense was off the table I would have done something here. There's lots of ways they could have gone about it, though I think the most elegant solution would have been to give her 32mm structural plate on her bow, stern, deck and upper hull, akin to a tier VIII battleship. She would have felt immediately tankier but still vulnerable to higher tiered ships. Oh well, missed opportunities. California's on the low end of average for her potential health. This isn't exactly welcome for such a slow brick with a big squishy snoot to boop. California has a boring ol' 14% healed over 28s, not the 16.8% of the KGVs and Hood, the 40% Nelson or even Colorado's 18.48%. It could be worse, I suppose. She could have ended up like Poltava with a max of 4 charges of heals. Summary so far: Worse protection than Arizona, tier for tier, but that's largely owing to a deficit of hit points as a tier VII battleship. Her protection scheme is otherwise fine though her snoot is a huge weak spot. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability: Comparable durability to Arizona even though she sits a tier higher. Agility Top Speed: 20.5 knots Turning Radius: 640m Rudder Shift Time: 14.7 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 3.7º/s So, there are slow battleships in World of Warships and then there are the American premium standard-types. You see, the normal American tech-tree battleships have an artificial boost added to their engines -- they don't bleed speed like normal battleships do. It's akin to (but not a copy of) the UFO-style acceleration found on British cruisers and destroyers. However, the premium standards Arizona, West Virginia 1941 and now California, all lack this boost. They decelerate like normal battleships. This means the moment you touch their rudder, they dump their speed faster than a tweaked-out college student having their dorm inspected. The net effect is that though California has a 20.5 knot top speed, she's usually flirting with much less -- as little as 15.3 knots at 4/4 engine settings. Colorado at least manages 19.2 knots under heavy manoeuvres. The horrible fire arcs on California's guns will necessitate more manoeuvring to swing out her guns and then duck back which will only ensure she's stuck on the lower end of this speed. I have no idea why Wargaming didn't provide her with the tech-tree style energy preservation. This would have made her functionally as fast as Nagato under manoeuvres. So you can largely forget about getting anywhere fast. You can forget keeping up with the pace of battle. You can also forget about successfully kiting or disengaging when things turn sour. I think the real unfortunate detriment here is that it makes California more vulnerable to torpedoes. If you're trying to get from A to B as fast as possible, you're not going to want to touch your rudder. That just makes her easy meat for enterprising lolibotes. Ostensibly, California's range is supposed to help her here. She might not be physically present in the heat of combat, but her reach should allow her to at least offer some contribution while she lags way in the back. Summary so far: California's agility is absolutely appalling and worse than it had to be. Still, she's not far removed from Arizona -- like, the differences are barely perceptible. However, the larger map sizes makes this a lot more problematic. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability: Comparable durability to Arizona even though she sits a tier higher. Agility: An ever-so-slightly worse Arizona but now deployed on larger maps. Anti-Aircraft Defense Flak Bursts: 5 explosions for 1,400 damage per blast at 3.5km to 5.8km. Long Ranged (up to 5.8km): 137 dps at 75% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 3.5km): 364 dps at 75% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 490dps at 70% accuracy So here's California's main selling feature. You get tier VIII American battleship AA firepower at tier VII. This is in contrast to Arizona which has like ... no practical AA to speak of. As far as gimmicks go, it's downright laughable in the current meta. This might have meant something back before the CV rework, but it's a joke currently. Before patch 0.8.0, the levels of AA firepower California puts out would have been formidable and worth celebrating. She would have been a meme the way USS Texas used to be down at tier V. Now such AA firepower is merely an inconvenience to CVs. While tier VI carriers have to respect your AA firepower they can still strike you. Furthermore, it's not going to put off a determined tier VIII carrier even for a moment. The best that can be said is that California won't be high on the enemy aircraft's priority list. However, she has enough problems already without considering CV strikes. I've sorted these ships by the formula I like to use (DPS x [range-1km]) to give a better, but not entirely accurate, impression of AA effectiveness -- the logic being that longer range AA is better than shorter range AA. Hood is listed without DFAA active, just know that the numbers shown here jump by 50% when she pulls the trigger. Nothing can touch California, though, which sits smack in the middle of the tier VIII American BB range, rubbing elbows with Alabama, North Carolina and everyone's favourite: Massachusetts. Summary so far: California has absolutely amazing AA levels. She's boasting not only tier VIII AA firepower at tier VII but good tier VIII firepower at tier VII. Unfortunately the state of the CV rework makes AA unrewarding and frankly useless at times no matter how much of it you have. This is a booby prize in the current meta. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability: Comparable durability to Arizona even though she sits a tier higher. Agility: An ever-so-slightly worse Arizona but now deployed on larger maps. AA Defense: Excellent and sadly irrelevant. Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 13.5km / 11.79km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 9.69km/ 8.72km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 11.71km California is very sneaky for a tier VII battleship. I wish this could have meant more than it does. This ship isn't likely to sneak up on anyone, mostly because it's patently unable to catch up to anything that doesn't want to be caught. At best, you might be able to setup an ambush and catch someone unawares but that's not likely to happen -- again because of that lack of speed. Ostensibly, this should allow her to disengage more easily by holding fire but let's not kid ourselves into imagining that she can escape pursuit. Without allies to road-block, California will be run down, sneaky or not. The final thing to keep in mind is that because of her long range, every time she pulls the trigger, she rings the dinner bell. This can be especially problematic if you've boosted her range and there are silly things like a bored Musashi or Champagne itching for targets. So California has good concealment! Unfortunately she can't really take advantage as well as another battleship might because of her slowness. Summary so far: California's concealment is meant to be her saving grace. With a base 900m advantage over Arizona, this is supposed to facilitate not only engaging the enemy but escaping from difficult situations. However, without it being paired with improved agility or durability, this bonus is merely nice to have, rather than ship-defining. Options: Nothing unusual, for good or ill. Firepower: Arizona with longer range, slightly improved damage output but much worse fire arcs. Durability: Comparable durability to Arizona even though she sits a tier higher. Agility: An ever-so-slightly worse Arizona but now deployed on larger maps. AA Defense: Excellent and sadly irrelevant. Vision Control: Better than Arizona by a lot, but she isn't able to take ready advantage of it. Summary: California vs Arizona California is a longer ranged Arizona with slightly improved damage output between better AP shells and a faster reload. Her improved dispersion via sigma will only be apparent over the course of multiple games rather than individual matches. She has greatly improved anti-aircraft firepower and she's more stealthy. However, she has very poor gun fire angles, horrible agility and no appreciable gains in defense all while being up-tiered to tier VII. The final difference is cost. Arizona will set you back the equivalent of 6,900 doubloons. California will cost you around 10,000 for a worse experience, tier for tier. It's worth being said: Arizona over-performs at her tier. She is a powerful tier VI battleship, so you might think my comparison unfair. California isn't broken, she's just not over-tuned the way Arizona is. And that's fair to say. However, for a consumer looking for the best bang for their buck, why buy California when Arizona is available? If you had to choose one, Arizona is the better purchase, hands down. What's more, California does not offer anything novel in the way of game play short of having better AA firepower. Are you really inclined to pay to play Arizona with worse matchmaking for the simple sake of being slightly less victimized by aircraft? Arizona is "long ranged" for a tier VI battleship once you install Gun Fire Control System Modification 1, so you largely duplicate California's schtick there too. California plays like Arizona but she plays less comfortably owing to her worse fire arcs and even more sluggish handling. I'm left to wonder what the point of California's design implementation as is. Rather than look for something new or novel, Wargaming played it safe. This might have worked had Arizona not been on offer -- California would have been more rightly compared to New Mexico and her strengths would seem obvious. "Ooh, 1.9 sigma with twelve guns? That's MUCH better than 1.5 sigma on New Mexico!" But again, Arizona is a thing. We already got that game play and at a better price and matchmaking. Hell, if you're a fan of PVE you get an even better deal with most scenarios now being limited to tier VI these days. With Arizona existing, Wargaming should have either retired the Pearl Harbor monument or dredged up something from their box o' gimmicks for California to compensate. California is a ship without game play identity. She is to Arizona what Alabama is to Massachusetts & North Carolina-- entirely forgettable and an unfortunate waste of money for worse game play. California is a beautiful port queen that doesn't live up to her fantastic history. It's such a bloody shame. This screenshot makes me sad. Once upon a time, seeing a ship with this much AA would have made me very excited. Now it's just a reminder of how much potential is wasted in the current meta. Final Evaluation Let's pretend Arizona doesn't exist. Is California worth it? No. No, she isn't. I love my standards -- I love them to death. But playing a standard-type battleship at tier VII or above needs to come with some pretty juicy perks or I'm not biting. The issue is their inflexibility. Once you start stacking on any other flaws and they just become unpalatable -- and California's gun handling and reload are some pretty wonky flaws, especially when paired with her slow speed. And she gains naught for these handicaps. The perks they gave her to compensate, namely good AA, nice range, good concealment and more accurate guns, don't cut the mustard for me. This is largely owing to what should be her main selling feature being laughable. Phenomenal AA power is watered down more heavily than American Lite Beer. Like American Lite Beer, the CV rework has a lot to answer for. It should be hella tasty and refreshing. Instead, it's so much thinned out swill with a rancid aftertaste, leaving you to wonder what could have been. California isn't fun to play and that's her greatest crime. If she can't be powerful, she needs to be interesting and she fails at that utterly. I'll play a shoddy ship back to back for hundreds of games provided she's fun (I've done it too -- I loved Atlanta before Surveillance Radar was a thing). I don't want to touch California. I'm constantly fighting with her rudder or her guns and she has nothing I value to compensate for it. Hard pass, ladies and gentlemen. California is a hard pass. Conclusion I was going to take a break after Siegfried and Agir's review was published. However, California's an important release and, more pressingly, I don't feel she's a good ship. Had she been strong, I think I could have just sat aside and let people discover that for themselves. But seeing how she was being released reminded me of why I write these reviews in the first place: To protect other players from making bad purchases. Wargaming burned me once too often in World of Tanks. If I can help others avoid that, I will. Now that said, with this high-profile release covered and my feels (hopefully) clearly broadcast, I'm taking some much needed time off.
  3. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review #148 - Odin

    The following is a review of Odin, the tier VIII German battleship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this article are accurate as of patch 0.9.4.1. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. Quick Summary: Tirpitz-lite. Same great Tirpitz flavour with half the fat. I mean efficiency. Wait, that doesn't work. I really should mention the guns or agility. How about: Imagine if Bismarck and Graf Spee loved each other VERY much and.... Probably best I stop right there. Uh, okay, here we go: Imagine a tier VIII Scharnhorst that went to the gym and got super cut. She ends up with slightly improved punch but she tore a few muscles dead-lifting so she can't carry anymore. Bam. Nailed it. PROS Excellent citadel protection with turtle-back armour. Good armour layout -- especially for shrugging off HE shells, including a thick deck, ice-breaker extended waterline belt and strong upper hull protection. Heavy secondary battery with very long range, good rate of fire and excellent penetration values. Decent agility, especially for a high-tier German battleship. Good concealment for a tier VIII battleship (especially for a German one). She combines Bismarck's Hydroacoustic Search with Tirpitz's torpedoes. CONS Tiny hit point pool for a tier VIII battleship (which also reduces the amount she can heal). Poor anti torpedo protection with only a 22% damage reduction. Main battery guns are only 305mm in caliber causing all sorts of problems from poor HE performance, poor AP penetration and limited overmatching ability. Secondaries have wonky fire angles. Forward fire angles on her torpedoes are very limited. How to Acquire Her Before I get into the review proper, it's worth mentioning how you're (supposed to be) able to get this ship. Akin to Puerto Rico, Odin is part of a dockyard event. You complete missions to increase the rate of production of the ship itself with the option of spending money to accelerate construction. Unlike Puerto Rico which could technically (and rarely in practice) be earned for free, Odin has specifically been declared as requiring at least some expenditure of cash (or doubloons) to complete her -- something to the tune of a minimum of 3,500 doubloons. Now I mention all of this because the event hasn't gone live yet and, let's be honest, anything can and will change before the event launches. Don't come crying to me if you get burned from buying the pre-hype wholesale. I'm waiting to see how the event finally shapes up, what bugs are present and what the functional asking price for this ship is. Fairly warned be ye, says I. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / CHALLENGING / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH/ Extreme Odin has a small hit point pool and crappy guns. You're putting that on a ship that ostensibly is made to brawl and handing that to new players? That's a recipe for disaster -- or at the very least, low damage totals if they manage to keep themselves alive or a quick trip back to port if they push too early. This isn't a ship for new players. For veterans, however, there's all sorts of fun shenanigans that can be accomplished with Odin, aside from the obvious brawling. Good ammunition choices, proper commander specialization, use and abuse of her agility and concealment and map knowledge will all go along way to improving your gains with this ship. The question is, though, is it worth the effort? Options Consumables Her Damage Control Party is standard for a German battleship with unlimited charges, a 15s active period and an 80s reset timer. Her Repair Party is also normal. This heals back up to 14% of her health over 28s and starts with four charges. This has an 80s reset timer as well. Convenient! In her third slot you have a choice between a Spotting Aircraft and a Catapult Fighter. The former starts with four charges, lasts 100s with a 240s reset timer. This increases her range by 20% (up to 22.9km) for it's duration. The latter has three charges to start, lasts 60s and has a 90s reset timer. She launches three fighters at a time. And finally, Odin borrows Bismarck's Hydroacoustic Search. This has three charges to start with a 100s active period. It detects torpedoes at 3.5km and ships at 5km. It has a 120s reset timer. Upgrades There's not a whole lot of variety here. Optimally, you're going to want to build for fire mitigation and improved main battery performance. To this end, take Damage Control Systems 1 & 2 and Aiming System Modification 1. But nuts to that. That's not fun. What you should do is take Hydroacoustic Search Modification 1, Secondary Battery Modification 1 and Steering Gears Modification 1 to soup-up Odin's performance for those brawls you want to get into. Optimal? No. Awesome? Hells yeah. I said "soup-up Odin's performance", Potage. Captain Skills So, there's a good argument to be made that Odin, like other German battleships, should simply default to the Standard Battleship Build™. That is to say: Priority Target at tier 1. You can swap this for Incoming Fire Alert, Expert Loader or Preventative Maintenance based on your preferences. Take Adrenaline Rush at tier 2. Next up comes Basics of Survivability at tier 3 to help mitigate fire damage. And cap it off with Fire Prevention at tier 4. This will maximize your fire resistance potential. After that, take what you will. Skills such as Concealment Expert, Superintendent, Expert Marksman and High Alert all being suitably hyped to round out your 19pts. Of course, this is loser-quitter talk and what you really should be doing is building for awesomeness: Both Superintendent and Basic Fire Training are equally awesome. I prefer the former, myself, and this is the build I've been using for Odin. Superintendent gives her a bit more survivability. Camouflage Odin has three available camouflage patterns, Type 10 Odin, Nordic and War Paint. They have identical statistics making them just cosmetic swaps between them. They provide the usual tier VIII bonuses: -3% surface detection +4% increased dispersion of enemy shells. -10% to post-battle service costs. +50% experience earned. I like Odin's base camo. When are the Germans going to get an alternate palette swap? ] I'm not a fan of Odin's War Paint camo. But I love her Nordic camo. Firepower Main Battery: Nine 305mm guns in 3x3 turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Six 150mm guns in 2x3 turrets mounted superfiring over B and X turrets and twelve 128mm guns in 6x2 turrets with three mounted per side. Torpedoes: Eight tubes in 2×4launchers in wing mounted just behind X-turret on the rear deck. The Woes of the Three Oh Fives Let's not mince words. Odin's main battery firepower is trash-tier. This isn't because her guns are "only" 305mm. If 305mm guns were automatically bad, we wouldn't be making the fuss that we do over ships like König Albert, Alaska and Stalingrad. They can be good, gun caliber be damned. It's all a matter of their individual performance parameters at a given tier. In Odin's case, these parameters suck moose-balls. Odin's main battery faults are numerous and I'll go over each. Hits on Target Odin dispersion test while equipped with ASM1. 180 AP shells fired at a Fuso-bot that had no camouflage. Shots were coming in from right to left (Fuso is bow-tanking). Owing to her higher shell velocity, Odin tends to overshoot and undershoot targets more often than American or British battleships despite using the same dispersion formula. This is bog-standard for German battleships. The first hurdle you'll experience with Odin's gunnery is getting enough hits. Now her dispersion isn't terrible -- for a tier VIII battleship it's not only normal, it's fairly decent with her 2.0 sigma value. However, a lack of any improvements to dispersion when stacked with the rest of Odin's woes means that you're not landing the number of hits needed to compensate for the other drawbacks. I could have just as easily griped about her rate of fire for not being better instead. Throughout most of her testing, she reload in 20 seconds instead of the current 23s which helped her put more shells on target through volume of fire (increasing from 23.5 rounds per minute to 27). Either one of these could have been massaged. The simple fact of the matter is that Odin doesn't generate the number of hits needed to be competitive with other tier VIII battleships once all of the other gunnery parameters are considered. AP Penetration & Overmatch Approximate penetration values of the high-tier German battleships. Odin doesn't have the punch necessary with AP rounds to contest battleship belt armour at ranges greater than 12km or so once you account for even slight angling. Belt armour of high-tier battleships easily flirts in excess of 300mm. Alright, so why does she need to get more hits? Well, her low AP penetration is perhaps the biggest problem with Odin's guns. She has similar problems to Scharnhorst in this regard but as a tier VIII ship, there are even fewer overmatch targets. As a German battleship, we can forgive her poor HE shell performance -- the expectation is that her AP shells should compensate for any drawbacks there. In some regards they do -- Odin's AP shell damage is more than sufficient. Even with her 305mm guns caliber and the woes with over matching targets, her AP shells deal almost as much damage as French 340mm weapons. Her overmatch caps out at 21mm -- largely limiting her to destroyers and tier VI and VII cruisers (and the occasional super-light cruiser across all tiers). You can forget about comfortably engaging battleships. She struggles to best battleship belt armour within nominal engagement ranges. It's only in brawls -- where her secondaries are already engaging targets -- when you can expect her to punch through belts without frequent shatters. There are ways around this, of course. You can aim higher and go for upper hull and superstructure hits. I do stress that with Odin's dispersion issues mentioned above that the sheer number of hits made won't equate to the same level of damage as her contemporaries. What's more, she still sees a lot of overpenetrations. She still has 0.033s fuse timers and she still needs 51mm of armour to fuse. So those soft sections of enemy battleships won't necessarily arm or slow down the shells enough to give meatier numbers. This all contributes to further reduces her damage output. It's hard to keep up when you can't land reliable penetrating AP shell hits. As you might expect for a faster-reloading battleship-caliber gun, Odin's AP DPM is decent despite the smaller gun caliber. I do stress here that this is potential damage -- it in no-way represents the actual gun performance, discounting factors such as dispersion, range, firing angles, ballistics, penetration, etc. These are just the theoretical maximums. HE Performance There's a lot of changes coming to the tier VIII meta shortly, though it remains to be seen how these five test ships will finalize. On topic: Odin's HE DPM is kinda terrible. I badmouthed Roma's HE DPM (though granted, that was coupled with her shoddy dispersion) and Odin's damage output is worse than that. No one should be surprised that Odin's HE performance is garbage. It's only her fast reload that creates any semblance of "close to acceptable" damage output and fire setting. Given her poor AP penetration and lack of overmatch, Odin has to reach for her HE shells in spite of this lackluster showing. It's not something you want to spam, mind you -- use them as often as you need to but no more than that. Stacking fires or hoping for big tallies of damage this way just won't happen with some severe hand-holding from RNGeebus (praise be!). It's the disparity between her HE and AP performance which makes her HE shells so unnattractive. An AP overpenetration is worth more than an HE saturated hit -- almost to a 2:1 ratio. Compare: This isn't a problem unique to Odin. The hope is that fires will off-set the damage disparity between the two shells. However, this depends not only upon the chance to actually set a blaze, but also the target that it is set upon. Lighting a destroyer or carrier on fire offers little in the way of damage return where as it's disproportionately more valuable when used against a battleship or large cruiser. Shell choice thus matters greatly and Odin should, whenever possible, lean upon her AP shells instead of her HE. Expert Loader is a very worthwhile skill for this reason -- you want to have the correct ammunition at the ready when opportunity presents itself. I think you'd be hard pressed to call any of the tier VIII battleships "good" fire starters. Nelson and King George V at tier VII really set the bar and Monarch (despite being Famous & Historical) falls short. Once you account for fire resistance and battleship accuracy, these values drop down to about 1/4 to 1/6th of their theoretical averages. Of course, RNGeebus being RNGeebus, lucky volleys can and will change everything (praise be!). All things said, Odin's fire setting isn't terrible but it's certainly not a strength. Overall Feels It's hard to have anything nice to say about these guns. The best I can manage is that some of their parameters are "okay", but there's nothing that stands out as fun or interesting. I honestly prefer Scharnhorst's 283mm guns to Odin's 305mm -- at least Scharnhorst's guns have fast traverse rates and good forward fire angles. Scharnhorst's matchmaking also means she can sometimes see super-squishy tier Vs. Let's talk about Odin's HE for a moment as it sort of encapsulates the issue here -- the improved penetration she gets might have been a plus had she the damage to back it up. But without it, her high HE penetration is just window dressing on more mediocrity. Like her improved rate of fire or meatier-than-they-should-be 305mm AP shells, it just doesn't matter. No other flaw of this ship is as damning as that of her main battery armament. This is where your decision on whether or not to invest in this ship should be made. Stacking reliable damage from Odin's main battery guns is frustrating, especially in the first half of battles where you're trading fire at long range. Her AP shells simply aren't good enough for this and her HE shells only stack damage slowly. Because of these deficiencies, players may be baited into pushing too soon in an effort to make use of her secondaries and torpedoes. This exacerbates the problem of her small hit point pool while simultaneously throwing away her advantages in concealment. In higher tiered games, this will get Odin sunk in a hurry -- players have to accept what little returns their guns can achieve, focusing primarily on softer targets until they can safely begin closing the distance and unleashing her other weapon systems. Odin's forward fire angles on her guns are good and crap on her torpedoes. Her rearward fire angles on her guns are crap and great on her torpedoes. Torpeedus Odin has torpedoes. Evaluating their effectiveness based on early play-testing is difficult. They're easily more potent during this stage as not everyone knows Odin is packing fish. So setting aside the successes during my games (including torpedoing a Kagero, lul), we can look at them more critically by comparing them to those found on Tirpitz. Still, lemme just humble-brag and say that I got to torpedo a LOT of people with Odin during play-testing and it never got old. There are two significant differences between the two ships when it come to their torpedo armaments: Their fire angles. Their survivability. Odin's fire angles on her launchers are pretty terrible. They're limited to launching at 39º off her bow. Rearwards, she's better, needing only a 22º angle off her stern to fire that way (which is amazing), giving her a total launching arc of 119º per side. Tirpitz, by contrast can launch 34º off her bow which is better (not great, but better) but she pays for it with more limited reward launch angles of 33º. This gives the OG German premium a 113º launch window. If you think I'm going to therefore justify Odin's launch angles as "better", you're mistaken. I would much rather have Tirpitiz's launchers based on their firing angles. These ships tend to use their torpedoes offensively rather than defensively, so forward firing angles matter a Hell of a lot more than rearward. So points to Tirpitz here. Odin has to swing herself out more than Tirpitz to squirt off a load which causes all sorts of problems from making her more likely to take damage on the return to simply (and embarrassingly) beaching herself. However, where Odin does get better marks is the survivability of her fish. Individually, the launchers on the two ships are just as squishy, it's merely their position upon the ship that counts here. Having Odin's torpedoes mounted on her stern puts them largely out of harm's way -- they're more likely to be available than Tirpitz's and much less likely to be sniped off. Odin's torpedoes are nice to have, short ranged though they are. They make her an absolute terror in a close-range brawl. Getting that close to her in a battleship is all but a death sentence. Her fish are more awkward to use than Tirpitz's but they're much less likely to get broken beforehand. There's few things as heartbreaking for one of these torpedo-armed battleships than having their torpedo-mounts destroyed when they finally (FINALLY!) get a chance to use them. Secondaries The final piece of Odin's firepower puzzle is her secondaries. I wanted to simply write praise for Odin's secondaries, boasting about their increased range, rate of fire and penetration over Tirpitz's guns, concluded that they were therefor better and been done with it. I was then told by my peers, in so many words, that this would be disingenuous and I should take the time to properly compare Odin's secondaries to the other AI-driven pew-pews. Tirpitz has words regarding my early praise of Odin's secondaries. So let's get into it. The first thing to consider is their raw damage potential. At tier VIII there are six ships which have "good" (or merely goodish) secondaries -- Massachusetts, Bismarck, Tirpitz, Gascogne, Odin and Graf Zeppelin. I'm leaving out Amagi and her clones because, despite having improved accuracy, they are short ranged as all get out and not practical. All of these secondaries put out comparable damage when firing broadside, though the carrier is the hilarious front-runner. However, a more nuanced look changes things when you consider a practical application: There's a few things to keep in mind here. First, Graf Zeppelin and Massachusetts have (much) improved accuracy with their secondaries -- they generate far more hits than their competitors. Second, Inertial Fuse for HE Shell may be necessary to enable these ships to fully maximize their direct damage potential against select targets. Odin doesn't care about that last part, though, so points for that. Odin's secondary firing angles are a bit of a surprise. With all of her 128mm guns mounted flush on the deck, they have limited firing arcs. Her 150mm guns are interrupted by the ship's superstructure and are similarly limited. There's a 20º dead-zone on either side of Odin's prow where only her superfiring 150mm secondary can engage targets. Once you swing out, the majority of her secondaries will begin firing. She is not as well setup for kiting, though. Her butt is a mess though (ew!), with staggered fire angles. Mounted fore and aft, Odin's superfiring 150mm secondaries have limited fire arcs. There's only a small window where all five of her secondary mounts can be brought to bear on a target, and that obviously opens her up to return-fire. It's best just to stick with four on the attack and two when kiting. Odin's secondary fire arcs aren't comfortable. I don't know how much potential damage I've wasted merely because I was sitting bow-in with only my superfiring 150mm gun spitting off the occasional shot. Odin has to angle out at least 20º off her snoot to get a reasonable volume of fire going. This isn't much, but this 40º not-quite-deadzone forward is much more sizeable when you account for manoeuvre, navigation and dodging. This was especially frustrating when dealing with ships in smoke -- having to turn away to begin blasting them with secondaries. All of the other ships fire off with more than a single turret's worth with just a couple of degrees worth of allowance. Still, Odin does have more range than her contemporaries, right? It's not much, really. It's 200m base and 300m when the two ships are fully upgraded with all of the trimmings. Still, it's enough that Odin can almost (ALMOST!) stealth-fire her secondaries in open water, with her surface detection getting as low as 12.02km and her secondaries reaching out to 11.642km. That would have been hilarious had Wargaming accidentally let that happen. Oh well. This is the worst dispersion I got with Odin's secondaries. Most kills occurred within 120 rounds fired (about 40s), so I thought this one would make a more obvious indicator of the total area her shots could stray within. German secondaries are the current runner-up in the secondary effectiveness race. American secondaries, specifically those found on Massachusetts and her descendents, are the current gold-standard. That Massachusetts accomplishes this with only 21mm worth of penetration is testament to just how accurate those weapons are compared to (nearly) everyone else. Against soft skinned targets, it will take Odin twice as long to do comparable damage to Massachusetts. That's not an approximate either. I ran dozens of tests between them and Massachusetts lewds lolibotes two times faster than Odin. The marked difference between them and where Odin claws back a little deserved renown, is with her penetration. Even without Inertial Fuse for HE Shells, she's capable of damaging tier VIII+ battleship hulls with her secondaries without having to wait for RNGeebus to descend from on high (praise be) and gift her with a fire or to disperse one of her shells into their superstructure. This extends also to high-tier cruisers which Massachusetts can only directly damage if she spends the skill points on IFHE. The obvious question is: Are Odin's secondaries better than Massachusetts? Well, no. And that's the wrong question. Are they good enough is more apt. And yes, yes they are. All things told, I rate them better than Tirpitz's secondaries despite being more fussy to use. That extra penetration is just lovely and Tirpitz's 105mm, which form the bulk of her damage output, don't cut the mustard. Odin's secondaries are a reliable workhorse and definitely worth investing into to improve. This goes double given the woes of her main battery firepower. Summary Her secondaries are good. Her torpedoes are nice to have, but they're too short ranged to make regular use out of outside of PVE game modes (and one-on-one Ranked Battles, lul). But at the core, her main battery firepower is a huge let down and it severely compromises all other aspects of this ship. Her secondaries are almost great but they lack accuracy and fire arcs to contend with the current heavyweight champion. Her torpedoes are awkward to use but at least they don't break as often as Tirpitz's. Her main battery firepower is garbage. You can make it work, but you're not going to like it. VERDICT: Your butt belongs to RNGeebus. Praise be, you filthy sinners. Defense Hit Points: 52,800 Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mm extremities, 45mm upper hull & 50mm deck Maximum Citadel Protection: 320mm belt + 105mm to 120mm turtleback + 45mm citadel wall. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 22% There's no getting around it: Odin's base hit point pool sucks when compared to the other tier VIII battleships. However, her theoretical effective health isn't that much lower than Lenin's -- a ship which is considered Tonka-tough™. Apparently there's more to battleship survivability than base hit point totals including such factors as armour, citadel protection, favoured engagement ranges and many more elements besides. Of course, dwelling upon the esoteric doesn't make for a very good sound bite, now does it? Hit Points We may as well start with the poop-storm that is her hit point total. Odin has less than 60,000 hit points. She has a lot less, in fact. She sits at 52,800hp. Let's put some averages up on the board, ignoring reskinned clones: Tier VIII Battleships (excluding Odin): 66,400hp Tier VII Battleships: 60,200hp Tier VI Battleships: 53,800hp (aww, bae-bote's average! ♥) Tier V Battleships: 46,300hp Odin has the hit point totals of a tier VI battleship -- and slightly lower than average for a tier VI battleship at that. Oof. Yes, this is bad. No, it's not the end of the world. There's more to ship survivability than just their hit points after all, though let me be clear, this does put her at a marked disadvantage. A lack of hit points has a couple of trickle-down effects. Her Repair Party's efficiency is tied to her base hit point total -- 14% of her health healed per charge up to a maximum of 16.8% with a flag. Fires and Flooding are also tied to her base hit point total, with the former doing 18% unmitigated and the latter doing 20% unmitigated). The damage done here can be healed back 100% with sufficient charges of her Repair Party. However, the flat damage done by bombs and shells hurts her more than higher-hit point total battleships. 10,000 HE damage done to Odin hurts more than 10,000 HE damage done to Nagato (18.9% of her health versus 15.4% for Nagato). Simply put, fires hurt all battleships equally but being shot does not -- the latter hurts lower health ships more. Thankfully, Odin is pretty well setup to resist shell damage in the first place. Armour & Citadel Protection A very German armour layout. Odin's protection scheme is analogous to (but distinct from) that of the Bismarck-class. This means ice-breaker bows, an extended waterline belt that covers her stern as well, thick upper hull protection and a reinforced deck amidships. Short of her icebreaker bow extending further up, this is about as good as you could ask for in terms tier VIII battleship protection. Her 45mm and 50mm hull sections along with her extended belt will foil many HE shells (pretty much anything that's not a German or British heavy cruiser or throwing battleship-caliber HE). This improved HE protection does make her more vulnerable to AP penetrating hits if they catch her broadside, so bear that in mind. When you look at her citadel defense, it's S-class -- as German as you can get. If you listen closely, you can hear the AP bombs drooling. Compiled from GameModels3D.com. This highlights Odin's turtleback and the two different armour values present. She has 120mm over her forward and rear magazines and 105mm over her machine spaces. This belt of steeply angled armour keeps her largely immune to AP shell citadel hits except from high-penetration shots at very (VERY) long ranges. Also from gamemodels3d.com. Odin has a "hidden" 60mm deck-plate linking the two sides of her icebreaker on both her bow and stern. Even if Yamato, Musashi or Shikishima overmatches her 32mm upper-extremities from range, this plate will prevent the shell from plunging into the 200mm transverse bulkhead of Odin's citadel. Bismarck and Tirpitz both lack this, having only a smaller (and easily overmatched) 20mm plate protecting this area. This isn't a game-changing bonus, but it's nice to have. Mitigation Odin's low hit point total eclipses her otherwise great survivability traits. These include her decent AA power, better-than-average agility and better than average concealment. All of these combined create a ship that honestly has a lot of tanking potential. Still, I shouldn't sugar coat it -- as well equipped as Odin is to control the engagement and shrug off attacks, her low hit point total is always going to be something you have to keep in mind. Exercising her mitigation tools is the best bet you have to giving Odin some carry potential. Use her Hydroacoustic Search to lower the amount of torpedo damage you take per game. Abuse her good concealment to go dark until there are juicier targets to shoot at. Invest in skills and signals to add efficiency to your consumables. And most of all, keep to the second line until it's time to push. It's a lot of work to keep Odin hale and whole. This is probably off-putting for a lot of people but I find it worth while and accessible. Keeping her healthy for the mid-to-late game allows her to pull off all sorts of shenanigans where her protection scheme and mitigation tools really allow her to flex. In the end, she is still a German battleship -- tough as old boots and built to brawl with the best of them. You just have to live long enough to get to that stage where the opportunities are more likely. I am convinced that her hit points are a bit of a red herring when it comes to the flaws of this ship. With a bit of know-how, the woes of her low hit point total can be easily mitigated. You can't say that about the performance of her 305mm guns, however, which are the real source of woe with this ship. The greatest criminal mastermind of our time. VERDICT: Solid armour, nigh-impervious citadel protection (outside of AP bombs) and good damage mitigation but she's still the Viribus Unitis of tier VIII. Agility Top Speed: 30 knots Turning Radius: 790m Rudder Shift Time: 14.1 seconds 4/4 Engine Speed Rate of Turn: 4.4º/s "It's not terrible." - Mouse, June 2020. Odin has better-than-average agility for a tier VIII battleship. However, she's no where close to being a top contender, lacking the straight-line speed (Richelieu, Gascogne), turning radius (So-Daks), rate of turn (Azur Lane's Littorio) or rudder shift time (Vanguard). She's just average or slightly better than average in a few key areas without being horrible where she's found lacking. It's worth mentioning that AL Littorio and Champagne are still works in progress and subject to change. VERDICT: It's not terrible. Anti-Aircraft Defense Flak Bursts: 5 explosions for 1,775 damage per blast at 3.5km to 6km. Long Ranged (up to 6.0km): 88dps at 75% accuracy Medium Ranged (up to 4.0km): 333dps at 75% accuracy Short Ranged (up to 2.0km): 109dps at 70% accuracy Screw it. I was going to make a pretty AA graphic but you can have my preliminary notes instead. I had a wth moment and ended up spending a couple of hours chasing down leads. APPARENTLY the Japanese Type 96 25mm AA gun is the most accurate mount out of any battleship AA gun. Look, I'm not the most savvy historionatrix -- scarcely better than the History Channel -- but even I know this is a facepalm. Also, Champagne and Borodino are still works in progress and subject to change. I'm not going to waste too much time here. Take a Catapult Fighter instead of a Spotting Aircraft consumable. If you've upgraded your secondaries, you'll have a bit more bite to your AA guns which should be enough to make a tier VI carrier cry and mildly annoy a tier VIII carrier enough to make them alternate aircraft types they hammer you with to mitigate losses. But don't kid yourself into thinking that this provides anywhere close to "good" AA firepower. She has marginally better defense than Bismarck but she still sits well behind ships like the So-Daks, North Carolina and Kii. VERDICT: Refrigerator Base/Minimum Surface Detection: 15.3km / 12.02km Base/Minimum Air Detection Range: 9.86km/7.99km Detection Range When Firing in Smoke: 11.9km Main Battery Firing Range: 19.09km / 22.87km with Spotting Aircraft active Hydroacoustic Search Ranges: 3.5km torpedoes, 5km ship detection. I'm about to heap a whole lot of cautionary praise on Odin's surface detection. Lemme state this fact before I get started: Odin's concealment is nothing special for a battleship; it's simply better than expected. High-tier German battleships are thunder-chunkers with choo-choo thighs. Odin isn't. This opens up the door to actually weaponizing her concealment as some other battleships can and German battleships typically can't. Clear? Cool. Vision control is, in my opinion, the ship's saving grace. Like Roma before her, having good concealment prevents Odin from being an unmitigated disaster of a ship (boy, has my opinion of that ship evolved over time). In particular, it softens the blow of Odin's smaller hit point pool, adding a bit of much needed survivability that she might otherwise lack. Playing up to this concealment advantage will keep this ship alive -- Odin belongs on the second line, playing more like a large cruiser than a true battleship, at least until the end game when she can finally choose to spend her hit points where it will actually matter -- in brawls and securing objectives. Of course, Odin's concealment advantages are easily undone. All it takes is a flanking destroyer or a determined aircraft carrier to undermine her stealth, lighting her up for the enemy team. At least in Randoms you can count on not being the first ship targeted if you're in the second line -- PUBies tend to shoot at whatever is closest rather than what's optimal, so again, I stress -- keep her in the second line, even if her damage output is going to be garbage for a while. Odin's vision control extends beyond playing peek-a-boo whenever she fires her guns from range. Having access to a Hydroacoustic Search is an underrated boon. It is primarily defensive, ostensibly keeping her safe from torpedo hits while it's active. However, I find it much more rewarding to use it offensively to sniff out ships behind cover even if opportunities to do so prove much more rare. This consumable does provide a welcome bit of supporting confidence to aggressively push when the time is right. Finally, like Roma before her, Odin is better equipped to flank and steal shots from an unseen quarter than some other battleships. On my wish list, including a kilometer less surface detection, would be a bit more speed to better take advantage of this ability, but it's good enough. Odin can make good use of islands on top of sneaking through open water to set up ambushes. Unlike her Italian counterpart, she's generally not doing it to put main-battery firepower pressure on the enemy, but rather to safely close and begin using her fish and secondaries. I honestly wish there was more to get excited over about this aspect of Odin. It's a panacea to her durability woes, but a single aircraft carrier will put a fly in that ointment. VERDICT: It's sad when arguably the best thing about the ship is a mediocre showing like this that band-aids other problems. Final Evaluation Odin or Tirpitz? I think that's the big question out there. If you have Tirpitz, why would you want Odin? If you don't have either, which one should you get if you had to choose between the two? Muh History aside, I prefer Odin but I don't think she's better. I admit some of this affection towards Odin is owing to her being new and my rather enjoyable bouts of play-testing. It was a challenge to play Odin well -- to preserve her hit points and then pounce upon the unsuspecting. This probably explains the success I had with Odin. She's so new that the population at large isn't aware of her torpedoes yet. Once they become common knowledge, players will learn to stay away as vehemently as they do from a charging Tirpitz. The shine will come off Odin's star soon enough leaving us with two very similar ships. Is Odin optimal? Hells no. Is Odin better than Tirpitz? Situationally yes. Situationally no. Tirpitz has better firepower, hands down. The overmatch of her 380mm guns is great. Tirpitz is arguably a better top-tier bully too where the deficiencies of her 105mm secondary penetration doesn't matter as much and she can make much more use of her overmatching ability. Odin is no slouch, she just does things a little differently -- playing hit and fade until it's time to stove someone's face in. Despite the deficit in hit points, Odin feels more survivable to me as a veteran player. I don't have to be a damage sponge. The catch, of course, is that her main battery guns suck. Dealing reliable damage outside of a brawl is difficult. And there will be matches where you don't get a chance to wade in and that will show in your results. Frustrations aside, for those who love brawling, it's those matches where you do finally get to sneak up and wade in, where you do get to put torpedoes up someone's nose or rip someone's citadel out at point blank range which makes all of the previous frustrations moot. Bonus points if you use Odin's concealment to set it up. As I mentioned, those games came frequently during play-testing and that's why I enjoyed this ship as much as I did. Was it because Odin is so sneaky or was it simply because people were ignorant of what Odin can do? I think it's both, to be honest. While I do imagine those opportunities will wane somewhat as people get wiser, those opportunities are so worth it. Overall, I think Tirpitz is more consistent, but there's room for Odin in my port. Conclusion Not bad -- a week's turn around time from when Odin's finalization was announced to getting this one out the door. I put a lot of extra work into this one and I hope the quality shows. Thank you to my Patrons on Patreon for their continued support and making these articles possible! ♥
  4. rafael_azuaje

    Odin Buff

    hello everyone! my post is to talk about odin. * request some improvements like increasing your little HP from 52400 to 57200 base. * improve the speed of the main battery recharge. because the AGIR has the same barrel as the Odin but it recharges in 20 seconds, in 23 seconds. (here is clearly a nerf)
  5. Well guys, just coming here to share with you this battleship proposal (a hard work to model, but everything counts if can be usefull), you can see the complete info in the image, but I will add the text anyway to your confort. Hope you like this and hope this could be usefull in the near future to have a spot into the game. Info: Many thanks to @Talleyrand and @COLDOWN for the info about the ship. Lets hope someday we can play a few matchs with this battleship!
  6. The following is a review of Azur Lane's Sovetskaya Rossiya - the tier IX Premium Soviet Battleship. This ship was kindly provided to me by Wargaming in order to make this review. I did not have to pay for her. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this review are current as of patch 0.9.6.1. Please be aware her performance may change in the future. After the disappointment of AL Littorio being nothing more than a reskinned Roma-clone, it's a bit of a relief to review AL Sovetskaya Rossiya (hear after referred to only as "Rossiya"). Now, I stress it's only a minor improvement. Like AL Montpelier and AL Yukikaze from the year before, Rossiya does not differentiate herself all that much from other ships already extant within the game. The best that could be said about Rossiya is that she takes the game play from Sovetsky Soyuz, tweaks it oh-so slightly, and makes a premium ship out of it. This is great news if you like Sovetsky Soyuz. AL Montpelier ostensibly did the same for Cleveland, giving players access to a premium version of an already popular tech tree ship and I can understand the appeal. However, if you're looking for new and novel game play, you won't find it here. With all of this in mind, this review is being formatted in the same manner as my reviews of AL Yukikaze and AL Montpelier, focusing on the differences between Rossiya and Sovetsky Soyuz. Players wishing to try out Rossiya for free before purchasing need only unlock Sovetsky Soyuz and keep the differences discussed in this article in mind. Summary of Differences Comparing the differences between Rossiya and a fully upgraded Sovetsky Soyuz, you get the following: The Gud + Rossiya is more precise than Sovetsky Soyuz. + Rossiya's main battery guns are more durable than Sovetsky Soyuz. + Rossiya has improved economy. + Rossiya comes with permanent camouflage. The Meh Rossiya uses American battleship dispersion instead of the Soviet battleship dispersion used by Sovetsky Soyuz. Rossiya has the stock secondary layout of Sovetsky Soyuz instead of her upgraded secondaries. And the Garbage - Rossiya has fewer hit points than Sovetsky Soyuz. - Rossiya has a slower gun traverse than Sovetsky Soyuz. - Rossiya has worse AA defense than Sovetsky Soyuz. Stock-Hull Syndrome Rossiya is ostensibly a stock version of Sovetsky Soyuz but with improved rudder shift time and range so that she matches the tech tree ship. The net effect here is that Rossiya comes with Sovetsky Soyuz's secondary layout, AA armament and hit point disparity of the stock version of Sovetsky Soyuz while still enjoying the upgraded agility and range of a fully researched ship. In this regard, she's quite similar to Ashitaka, the tier VII Japanese premium battleship which pulled a similar trick with Amagi's old stock-hull (though Ashitaka enjoys this at a full tier lower). Categorically, Rossiya's defense is inferior to that of Sovetsky Soyuz, though the amount of disparity is quite minor in truth. The loss of AA firepower is laughable and hardly worth considering in the current meta. Similarly, the difference in secondary arrangement is more of a curiousity than it is advantageous or disadvantageous. Soviet battleships are not known for their secondaries in the first place so the changes here are not worth fussing over. For those that do want to fuss over it, Rossiya's has the larger volume of fire coming off her secondaries but much of that comes at a deficit of HE penetration, making them incapable of directly damaging even the hulls of tier VIII+ destroyers. Her 152mm guns are harder hitting, making them able to directly damage even some cruisers, but they come with a slower rate of fire. Overall, though, Rossiya's secondaries the better fire starter with a theoretical 9.2 fires per minute versus Sovetsky Soyuz's 5.8. HOWEVER, given their short range and the general allergy Soviet battleships have to brawling, celebrating these differences is silly. It's technically correct that Rossiya has the better secondaries. Differences in Hit Points Sovetsky Soyuz's Hit Points: 88,100hp Rossiya's Hit Points: 80,900hp Sovertsky Soyuz's Maximum Effective Health through Heals: 147,303hp Rossiya's Maximum Effective Health through Heals: 135,265hp Individual Component Hit Points breaks down as follows (Rossiya/Sovetsky Soyuz): Hull: 60,700hp / 66,100hp Superstructure: 3,700hp / 4,100hp Magazines (each): 40,500hp / 44,100hp Steering Gear: 24,300hp / 26,400hp Differences in Secondaries Sovetsky Soyuz Secondary Armament: Twelve 130mm/55 in 6x2 turrets 130mm Gun Performance: 5km range with 1,900 damage per shell with 22mm of penetration. They have an 8% fire chance and 5 second reload. Rossiya's Secondary Armament: Twelve 152mm/57 in 6x2 turrets and eight 100mm/56 in 4x2 turrets 152mm Gun Performance: 5km range with 2,200 damage per shell with 25mm of penetration. They have a 12% fire chance and an 8 second reload. 100mm Gun Performance: 5km range with 1,400 damage per shell with 17mm of penetration. They have a 6% fire chance and a 3.75 second reload. Differences in AA Firepower Sovetsky Soyuz's Flak: 5 explosions for up to 1,610 damage per blast, 3.5km to 6km range. Rossiya's Flak: 4 explosions for up to to 1,400 damage per blast, 3.5km to 5.8km range. Sovetsky Soyuz's Continus DPS: 66 at 6km / 187 at 3.5km / 49 at 3.1km Rossiya's Continuous DPS: 58 at 5.8km / 200 at 3.2km Differences in Economy As a tier IX premium, AL Sovetskaya Rossiya is one of the highest credit earners available presently, matching the majority of other tier IX premiums for their gains. Only Missouri (not available) along with Roma & Kii using their Makoto Kobayashi camouflages have higher credit earning potential in the game at present. With her premium camouflage included, she is far and away superior to Sovetsky Soyuz that it's no contest whatsoever. But you should expect that for a premium ship. Whatcha Paid For Like her waifu-avatar, it's all about the big guns. The big difference between the two ships comes with their main battery gun performance. Lemme break down the nitty-gritty of the differences first: Sovetsky Soyuz's Gun Traverse: 6º/s Rossiya's Gun Traverse: 4º/s Sovetsky Soyuz's Gun Hit Points: 20,000 per turret Rossiya's Gun Hit Points: 40,000 per turret Sovetsky Soyuz's Horizontal Gun Dispersion: [ range x 11.9 ] + 33 Rossiya's Horizontal Gun Dispersion: [ range x 10 ] + 60 Sovetsky Soyuz's Sigma: 1.6 Rossiya's Sigma: 1.8 ... and for those that love stupid minor differences: Sovetsky Soyuz's Main Battery Range: 19,382m Rossiya's Main Battery Range: 19,380m So it looks like some of these differences are important. Others, not so much. We can outright dismiss the 2m difference in main battery gun range as being entirely inconsequential, but what about the rest? The most curious change between the two ships is Rossiya's increased gun survivability. Doubling the gun's hit points makes them not only more difficult to destroy but it also makes them harder to temporarily disable. You'll still want Main Armaments Modification 1 to help mitigate critical hits but still, it's impressive. Clearly this chonktacular buff to Rossiya's hit points gummed up the traverse mechanism because Sovetsky Soyuz's turrets turn 50% faster. Once you slap on Main Battery Modification 3, Rossiya's turret traverse gets downright glacial, so make sure you invest in Expert Marksman if this kind of thing bugs you. This is another point against Rossiya keeping pace with Sovetsky Soyuz. For those keeping track, she now has worse AA power (who cares?) along with worse hit points and heals. Wargaming's selling feature for this ship is (and I quote): "Unlike the researchable Soviet battleships, shells launched by AL Sovetskaya Rossiya have standard accuracy parameters for the ship type." If you're wondering what this gobbledygook means, Rossiya has American battleship dispersion patterns instead of Soviet dispersion patterns. Here's what their horizontal dispersion looks like over distance: At very (very) close ranges, Sovetsky Soyuz has a smaller dispersion area than Rossiya. At very long ranges, Rossiya gets more accurate. Couple this with Rossiya's increased sigma value (making it more likely for her shells to group towards the center of her targeting area) and Rossiya is more of a sniper than Sovetsky Soyuz. Her gunnery is more consistent over range than her tech-tree sister-ship. However, before anyone gets too excited, lemme slap a big ol' butt onto this with the following caveat: You're not likely to notice a difference -- and if you do, it's largely in your head. The difference in the gunnery between the two ships is largely a "spreadsheet value" -- like tweaking Kremlin's AA defense. Over the course of many games, the numbers will tell. However, on a per-match or even a per-volley experience, the real-world game play will feel hella-similar. Observe: Again, my standard dispersion test. Each ship fired 180 AP shells at a stationary Fuso that did not have camouflage equipped. Both Rossiya and Sovetsky Soyuz were using the Aiming System Modification 1 upgrade. Shots came in from right to left with the Fuso effectively bow-tanking. The target ship upon which they were locked and the open water at which they aimed were both 15km away. Now lemme be clear: AL Sovetskaya Rossiya is the more accurate ship between the two. She is going to land more hits, on average, than Sovetsky Soyuz over the course of normal game play (outside of the rare close-range brawl). Ostensibly, this is what you're paying for when you buy this ship (other than anime boobies): a statistical increase in her main battery accuracy and (much) improved economy at the expense of gun handling and defense, all slapped onto the stupidly-tanky hull that is a Soviet battleship. That's Rossiya in a nutshell. Which Ship Is Better? Game play wise, Sovetsky Soyuz is the better ship by a small margin. Soviet battleships are known for their durability. While Rossiya has a slight improvement over Sovetsky Soyuz's gunnery, the difference in durability definitely goes to the tech-tree ship. This plays up to the strengths the Soviet line is known for and gives her the slight edge. Economy wise, Rossiya is the obvious winner. Cuz, duh. Overview "But Mouse," you cry, "I've never played Sovetsky Soyuz before. I have no frame of reference on if I should buy AL Sovetskaya Rossiya or not!" Well, shame on you. Go unlock Sovetsky Soyuz right now and play a few games to get a better idea. No? That's unreasonable? Fine. Here's a quick rundown of AL Sovetskaya Rossiya: Quick Summary: A high-tier Soviet battleship with American gunnery dispersion. PROS Excellent armour protection against HE shells, including a 60mm amidships deck & upper hull and an extended waterline belt towards the bow. Excellent armour protection for face-tanking AP shells, including the overmatching 460mm+ AP shells of high-tier IJN battleships. Access to the Soviet-battleship Damage Control Party with its very short reset timer. Stupidly-durable main battery guns. Uses American battleship dispersion on her main battery guns, giving her improved accuracy at long-range over other Soviet battleships. CONS Exposed, high-water citadel, making her exceedingly vulnerable if flanked. Limited number of charges on her Damage Control Party. Long, 33 second reload which hurts her overall damage output. Slow gun traverse at 4º/s (45s for 180º) Agility clearly sits in the "Mayonnaise Zone" with an enormous turning radius and slow rate of turn. Skill Floor: Simple / CASUAL / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / HIGH / Extreme AL Sovetskaya Rossiya is a relatively easy ship to play. Point your snoot at those who are trying to boop and return fire with her (reasonably) accurate guns. So long as you don't over-extend, she's tanky enough to resist just about any hurt thrown her way. The only hurdles for a new player are protecting her citadel and managing the limited number of charges of her Damage Control Party properly. For veterans, Rossiya is a Soviet battleship in all respects. Use and abuse the hidden geometries of her ridiculously powerful armour layout to shrug off hits you have no business resisting. Trivialize fires and overmatch the snot out of vulnerable ships with her 406mm guns. She doesn't quite have the maximum carry potential -- she is squishier than her tech-tree counterpart owing to her smaller hit point pool and worse heals as a result, but she's definitely no slouch. Summary AL Sovetskaya Rossiya is hands down the best premium purchase of this Third Wave of Azur Lane content. But let's be fair: It's not hard to best a Roma-clone which is her only competition. Rossiya is about as safe a purchase as you could make -- there's nothing wrong with her and the ship upon which she's based is one of the stronger contenders at tier IX. She still sits well behind Missouri and Musashi, though, so don't get the mistaken impression that you're investing in a god-tier ship. She's solid, but she's not redefining the meta in any way. The good news for your non-weebs out there is that unlike when AL Montpelier and AL Yukikaze were first sold, if you disable the Azur Lane content in your port, you do get access to a ship with premium camouflage still intact. Wargaming thankfully did away with that particular goof-up a while ago, so it's welcome to see. Now, it occurs to me that there isn't any click-baity, rage-inducing drama in this review at all, so I'll leave those who want to get their hate on with the following: AL Sovetsky Rossiya is yet another premium ship being made from the stock-hull of an already existing ship. She joins the ranks of many previous premium in this regard. Personally, this doesn't bother me in the least. I don't care if a ship is similar to another existing ship -- I only care if the ship is fun to play. Having a premium version of Sovetsky Soyuz is a pretty darned safe move to make on Wargaming's part, if a little boring. Still, I'll take it over AL Littorio any day.
  7. The following is a review of Azur Lane Littorio, the tier VIII Italian battleship. This ship has been provided to me by Wargaming for evaluation purposes -- I did not have to pay for this thing. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this article are current as of patch 0.9.6.1. Please be aware that her performance may change in the future. So first some bias warning: Wargaming has pissed me off with AL Littorio. You're going to see a lot of negativity in this (blessedly short) review. The worst part is that I'm partially muzzled with NDAs on explaining why I'm mad with Wargaming. I have to be very careful here, but I'll tip-toe and disclose as much as I am able. Weeks and weeks ago, I was play-testing the tier VIII Italian Battleship Impero. Impero, like all test ships, was a Work in Progress -- with any and all of her performance characteristics subject to change at Wargaming's whims. She appeared superficially as a clone of Roma, the tier VIII Premium Italian Battleship but she was armed with SAP shells instead of HE Shells, she had improved agility but her reload was three seconds longer. Finally, she had access to an Italian cruiser Exhaust Smoke Generator. While I cannot comment on how she performed, there was nothing out of the ordinary with receiving a test ship with new and novel game play features. What was out of the ordinary was the trio of mistakes Wargaming would make regarding Impero. The Three Blunders MISTAKE THE FIRST: Impero was called "Impero (AL Littorio)" in Wargaming's internal documentation. When I first saw this, the hype was real. I do so enjoy crossovers. But internal documents are internal documents and subject to NDA so I wasn't going to spread this far and wide. "But how is this a mistake?" you ask. Well, dear reader, according to Wargaming, Impero wasn't meant to be labelled such. MISTAKE THE SECOND: Wargaming accidentally leaked a Supertest announcement: So the above oops was unfortunate but it might not have been so bad if it didn't contain this second element. When new ships are issued to testers, Wargaming messages the individual testers. This contains not only the itemized list of everything that has been credited to accounts, but it also provides links where feedback can be submitted. In or around the second week of April, this message (found below) was sent out accidentally to non-testers. Now Wargaming's "typo" was spread far and wide: MISTAKE THE THIRD: Wargaming failed to notify anyone that Impero was not AL Littorio. With the leak, Community Contributors could now discuss the upcoming Azur Lane crossover. While Impero's performance was (and remains) strictly off the table, her name was now tied to Impero's stats because of this leak. If Wargaming intended to separate the association between the two, they missed their early opportunity to do so with clear communication. This is when you start seeing me include AL Littorio instead of Impero in graphs and charts like this one for Odin's review back in early June: The "AL Littorio" is actually what Impero used to do. Impero, as designed during this test phase, doesn't exist anymore. For the current AL Littorio performance, look at Roma on this chart. The only problem, of course, is that Wargaming didn't think to correct all of the "AL Littorio" feedback they were receiving in place of Impero's. Now I stress that what abilities Impero had were all transitory -- Wargaming could change her however they wished, throwing everything out on a whim. But this does not diminish the fact that Impero's performance was tied to the AL Littorio name in the hearts and minds of testers, to say nothing of the attentive members of the community who were following her development through what snippets they could acquire. Divorcing the notion that AL Littorio and Impero were one in the same should have been high up on the priority list, but apparently this miscommunication slipped through the cracks. It wasn't until the official announcement on the Japanese World of Warships / Azur Lane collaboration stream that this fact came to light in the most jarring way possible. Who doesn't love getting important information from a third party source? AL Littorio was not getting Impero's performance. She was just going to be a Roma-clone in almost every respect. Mouse's Mistake So I have found myself the perpetrator of spreading misinformation. What's extra-frustrating is that the new "lack of preview" system the Community Contributor program has in place is meant specifically to mitigate this sort of thing from happening, but it went and happened anyway. While I reported Impero's performance accurately at the time, it was under the label of AL Littorio which is patently false. Let me be crystal clear: AL Littorio is not Impero. AL Littorio does not get Impero's SAP shells instead of HE shells. AL Littorio does not have Impero's 33 second reload. AL Littorio does not have Impero's Exhaust Smoke Generator. AL Littorio does not have Impero's improved agility. AL LITTORIO CLONES ROMA'S IN-GAME PERFORMANCE IN EVERY WAY THAT MATTERS. AL Littorio is a boring ol' clone of Roma in all respects but one: you can't buy a Makoto Kobayashi "Beer Can" camouflage for AL Littorio and received (much) improved economic gains. So... lesson learned: Going forward, I'm not going to include any test-ship data in any of my graphs and charts, pertinent though they may be to the community discussions going on at the time. Hopefully this will nip any of these miscommunication SNAFUs on Wargaming's part in the bud. I hate to leave stuff out but at the same time, it's not worth having my readers misled. For my part in this whole mix-up, I am truly sorry. I cannot properly express how mad I feel. The lack of clear information from Wargaming, the air of deliberately misleading me through withheld information, pisses me off to no end. I feel very much disrespected, especially when it came to light that, according to the game files, Impero is AL Littorio after all. I was jerked around -- there's no other word for it. I wasn't worth communicating to regarding Wargaming's intentions for the project. No one saw fit to make sure that I was being properly informed. They effectively put the onus on me to fact-check them on EVERYTHING they disclose, no matter how inane. To say that my trust in them is horribly shaken would be an understatement. And best of all, they pulled another Graf Zeppelin / German Destroyer swapperoo -- changing everything at the last minute without telling the CCs first. So not only am I very much a part of the whole spreading of misinformation, I wasn't given the opportunity to undo the damage in a timely manner. The NDAs on these ships have only just been lifted with the ships going on sale with the big ol' butt added on that Impero's performance is still off the table. Yay. Now, as I have said, Wargaming is free to change test-ship performance however they like. They MUST be allowed to try out new things. Sometimes this results in some real gems making it to the live client. For example, Haida's success story could not have come to pass without this level of experimentation. However, for every Haida there are ships like Duke of York where the concept gets axed at the eleventh hour, potentially never to see the light of day again (we STILL don't have a ship that matches the original Duke of York's play style). While I suspect the information collected with Impero may end up shaping the Italian battleship line in some shape or form, Impero's test-ship game play isn't replicated in AL Littorio. I must stress that this is only a suspicion that Impero's performance may re-emerge with the Italian tech-tree battleships. I do not begrudge Wargaming's need to change test-ships. However, if they want me to produce content about these ships, they must appreciate that jerking me around does not make for a happy Mouse. Roma in 2020 Roma hasn't changed much since I first reviewed her two and a half years ago. She's a ship I very much want to like but she's held back by two elements that are difficult to overcome. For those unfamiliar with Roma, her performance summarizes to the following PROS and CONS: PROs Dispersed armour layout with thick upper hull, amidships deck armour and an extended belt, all resistant to HE damage. Good gun handling with fast turret traverse. Phenomenal muzzle velocity and energy retention, giving her fast shell flight times over distance. Great AP penetration power over range, especially for guns of her caliber. Good concealment with a 14.9km surface detection range which can be reduced down to 11.7km. CONs Soviet-style high-water citadel. Short ranged for a tier VIII battleship at 18.1km. Horrible dispersion on her main battery guns. Her high-velocity, high-penetration AP shells consistently over-penetrate cruisers. Her 381mm AP shells cannot overmatch 27mm+ hull sections found commonly on many cruisers within her matchmaking. Awful HE performance with low alpha strike, poor fire chance and mediocre module damage. Large turning radius, mediocre ship rotation rate. Roma are AL Littorio are flanking battleships. The idea is that they're able to get into a forward position and hammer the enemy with crossfire. However, this is where those aforementioned problem-elements come in. The first is that their guns are horribly inconsistent. Their gunnery dispersion is just horrid -- behaving just often enough to give you hope that you can land hits on a crucial shot only to troll you when you need them to behave. Out of all of the ships in the game I have so far mapped dispersion for, Roma has the worst I've seen. It's really bad. Adding to this gunnery inconsistency is the double-feature of struggling to land anything but over-penetrating hits on the flat broadside of cruisers. Roma' and AL Littorio's AP shells are simply too fast and have too much penetration -- they punch clean through cruisers rather than exploding within them unless targets are pretty far away (12km to 14km depending on the chubbiness of the ship in question). Finally, her 381mm caliber means that they can't overmatch the 27mm hull sections found on many tier VIII+ cruisers. American and German cruisers that bow in can bounce their AP for days. Their HE shells are terrible so they don't pick up the slack. The second issue is one of being too easily detected. Back when I first reviewed Roma, carriers were largely a non-issue. Now they're commonplace. Assigning "concealment" as a battleship's strength is a bit of a hard sell when aircraft can undo this even accidentally, without actively trying to keep Roma lit. This means taking up forward or flanking positions is a no-go and simply guarantees you'll be focus fired. AL Littorio and Roma aren't without their merits, though. The punch on their guns really is phenomenal. You can reliable citadel most battleships up to maximum range (provided their citadels are exposed and they're giving you a broadside to shoot at). Their armour layout is super tanky, lacking just the full-on ice-breaker bow to make it perfect. Unlike Soviet ships, they're not shackled with horrible surface detection and agility either, so provided no one's looking, they can redeploy effectively. All things told, AL Littorio and Roma are balanced Mehbotes. I just wish their gunnery was more interesting. Final Evaluation So AL Littorio is Roma with an Azur Lane camouflage. She is a worse Roma, as a matter of fact -- as I said, you can't fork out money to get Roma's beer-can camouflage. AL Littorio is only worthwhile if: (a) you want Roma and (b) you don't have Roma and (c) you never intend to buy Roma's Makoto Kobayashi camouflage because you're allergic to fun and pope hats.
  8. thatbruinskid

    Secondary Alsace Builds?

    Am currently grinding the French BB line, am at tier 7 at the moment, Jean Bart is one of my favorite ships in the game. I'm hyped to get to the Alsace. What's the best secondary build for her? I was thinking something like: PT, PM, AR, BoS/SI, AFT, CE and MFCSA and then secondary range upgrade in slot 3. Should I run BFT over BoS or SI? Or swap out Main Battery Reload in slot 6 for the 20% reload decrease on the secondaries? Should I ignore MFCSA entirely and go for fire prevention instead? Auxiliary Armaments upgrade? LMK what you guys think! Any advice on the best combos would be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to playing Alsace in the near future.
  9. TLDR at the end :) After taking a good look at Queen Elizabeth's bow armor in the client and external websites, I noticed a good section of 104 mm bow armor quite near up front. Theoretically, if you could angle and bounce shells with the 104 mm section, you'll be pretty much be able to tank any BB ap for a good amount of time. To test this, I tried taking out my QE out for a spin in the training room against a Kremlin (LOL). The Kremlin has 457 mm shells that can overmatch QE's external plating of 26 mm but definitely not the 104 mm section. In the training room, I discovered that I managed to bounce around half of his AP. Most of the AP that bounced was on the main belt armor near the center of the ship. There were several occasions where the AP bounced when it hit the bow but most of the them resulted in regular penetrations. There was one citadel hit during the test but that was when I overturned and pointed my bow straight on when the AP hit. As the test progressed, I took less penetration damage to my bow due to damage saturation mechanics. I ended up taking a total of 93k damage after using 5 heals. Most of the damage was fire damage from his secondaries and the regular pens from his AP. I took 88 hits from his AP shells, with the damage averaging less than 1k per shell. I did get my main turret disabled a few times as a result of a penetration hitting the turret barbette area. After the test, I took a closer look in the armor viewer and made some notes. There are two sections to the bow armor I circled and examined. Both of them are 104 mm and located at the waterline. So although you may be technically angled, a shell could pass above the 104 mm section and deal damage. Section A (Red) This section of bow armor cannot bounce BB shells if you angle properly because shells will probably pen this area and hit something else. This means that this section of armor will not protect you from AP shells if you are bow on to an enemy BB. I noted in green arrows the possible path an AP shell could go. If an AP shell hit the bow head on, it could very well hit the citadel (the top boxy thing I outlined in red). Even though this section of armor will be penned most of the time, if you angle you reduce the probability of an AP shell hitting your citadel. I noted that approximately from 0-25 degrees from the centerline of the bow, the path of the AP shell will hit the citadel. Beyond that, it will miss the citadel. This is assuming that the AP shell hits section A of the armor and penetrates. Section B (Blue) This section of bow armor is actually useful. Since it extends a significant amount towards the bow, you find that you get overmatched less often than most battleships with fragile bows. The armor is at such an angle that it will bounce shells up to 15 degrees off the centerline of the bow. Once you go past 15 degrees, shells will start penning that section of armor. However there is a slight overlap in angling between section A and B. If you angle beyond 25 degrees, any shell that strikes section A will miss the citadel. However with the same angling, any shell that strikes section B of the armor will have a good chance of hitting your citadel. Considering that section B of the armor covers a significant amount of the bow, it is better to angle 15 degrees from the centerline of the bow to minimize getting citadeled. TLDR: Queen Elizabeth has a section of 104 mm bow armor that can technically bounce any AP shell in the game. This armor can be abused and you can tank a Yamato in this thing (not that she would ever meet one) There is no specific angle the Queen Elizabeth can take while approaching bow on without a chance of getting overmatched and citadelled. If you angle around 15 degrees from the center of the bow, you make it darn hard for other ships to overmatch your bow. Even though it is possible to be overmatched at this angle, it is very hard for enemy ships to do so and hit your citadel consistently I tried doing this in Training Room and managed to sink a Yamato while bouncing his AP on that 104 mm section. I simply angled 15 degrees and bounced his AP which gave me time to slowly chip away the Yamato's hp and eventually sink him. I'm not an expert at this kind of stuff so if something is up feel free to correct me :)
  10. Updated November 7th, 2018 Jean Bart is an upgraded Richelieu-class battleship with improved anti-aircraft firepower and equipped with the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable. Unassuming at first glance, she is overpowered in the right situation. Jean Bart annihilates opponents that make mistakes like few other warships can. When capitalizing on these situations, she is without equal. Jean Bart punches much harder than her smaller-caliber battleship guns would suggest. This ship was kindly provided to me by Wargaming. Please be aware that there are some differences to this ship as of the original publication date. To the best of my knowledge, these stats are accurate as of November 7th, 2018 and represent the release version of the ship. Jean Bart has been made available for 228,000 Coal in the Arsenal as well as being sold directly in the premium shop. PROS Main Battery Reload Booster gives her the ability to brutally punish ships that make mistakes within her line of fire, be it with repeated citadel hits or stacking fires. Entire battery is bow-mounted, making it easy to maximize her firepower on the attack. Heavy secondary gun battery with a fast rate of fire from her 100mm guns. Excellent anti-aircraft firepower -- some of the best found on battleships in the game. Good overall agility for a tier IX battleship. CONS Tiny hit point pool for a tier 9 battleship at 69,000hp. Exceedingly vulnerable to light cruiser-caliber HE spam. Armed with only eight 380mm guns with low damage output. Unable to overmatch the extremities of tier VIII+ German and American heavy cruisers. Majority of her secondaries are incapable of dealing direct damage to most targets. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Jean Bart is an easy battleship to play and quite forgiving. If her guns were of a larger caliber, I'd consider her skill floor to merely be 'Simple' As it is, players must have working knowledge of which ships her AP shells can overmatch and which they cannot which forces players to think ahead with their ammunition choices. As easy as Jean Bart is to slip on, she scales very well with player skill. Few battleships reward careful target selection and ammunition choice like Jean Bart. This is a ship where daring plays and proper consumable use make all the difference. Jean Bart feels very much overpowered in the right hands yet provide only a middling performance to the uninitiated. – One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness. – Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either. – Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer. – No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship. Musashi outperforms Jean Bart firepower wise, giving the French battleship a rating. Jean Bart has a low hit point total like HMS Lion but lacks her improved Repair Party consumable. She has a defense. Jean Bart has the agility and anti-aircraft firepower at her tier. Her concealment is only . Options Jean Bart doesn't offer much in the way of surprises. While there is room for some customization, she's fairly predictable. Her big gimmick is access to the Main Battery Reload Booster consumable. Consumables Jean Bart uses a standard French Damage Control Party. This has a 15s active time and a 120s / 80s reset timer. She has unlimited charges. Her Repair Party is also standard for a French battleship and begins with 3 charges. She heals back up to 14% of her health over 28s with a 120s / 80s reset timer. She queues up to 50% of penetration damage, 10% of citadel damage and 100% of any other damage type. Jean Bart comes with a Main Battery Reload Booster with 3 charges. This cuts down her main battery reload time by 50% for 20s with a 180s / 120s reset timer. Finally, she has access to the Engine Boost consumable with 2 charges. This increases her speed by 8% for 180s and it resets within 180s / 120s. Upgrades Jean Bart should begin by taking Main Armaments Modification 1 in her first slot. Optimally, take the special upgrade Engine Boost Modification 1 in her second slot. If you do not have access to one, then default to Damage Control System Modification 1. In your third slot, Jean Bart forces a choice on players. Optimally, you should increase the accuracy of your main battery with Aiming Systems Modification 1. However, that's totally boring. If you're feeling MANLY (and stupid), take Secondary Gun Modification 2 to boost your secondary range and show those lolibotes and inferior battleships who their daddy is.But maybe an Aircraft Carrier once touched you in a naughty place. Maybe you're super salty about that. If that's the case, you can always go for AA Guns Modification 2 to increase their range. This will make CV players hate you. And while other players may scoff that your build is sub-optimal, they'll all respect you deep down for making a CV player cry. Things get pretty boring from here on out. Damage Control Modification 2 is optimal in your fourth slot with the amount of HE that's thrown about. Steering Gears Modification 2 is a distant second place in terms of optimization, but if it makes you happy, who are we to judge? Take Concealment Modification 1 for your 5th slot. It's too good compared to the other option. And finally, take Main Battery Modification 3 for your final slot. Camouflage Jean Bart comes with Type 10 Camouflage. This predictably provides: 100% bonus experience gains 20% reduction to maintenance costs 3% reduction in surface detection 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Firepower Main Battery: Eight 380mm/45 guns in 2x4 turrets in an A-B superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Nine 152mm guns in 3x3 turrets facing the rear and twenty-four 100mm guns in 12x2 turrets arranged in superfiring configurations with three facing forward and three facing rear on each side of the ship. Jean Bart has some of the firepower at her tier. For a battleship armed with only eight, bow-mounted 380mm guns and a small-caliber secondary battery, this is a bold claim. However, for much of Jean Bart's development cycle, she was disgustingly overpowered and there were very real concerns about her performance. Wargaming has scaled her firepower back, but I'm not sure they did it to the degree necessary to ensure balance at tier IX. As it stands now, Jean Bart has the ability to punish opponents like no other battleship in the game. Underestimate her at your peril. Jean Bart firing 180 shells, locked onto a stationary enemy Fuso without camouflage at 15km. She has the same horizontal dispersion pattern as German and Italian battleships. French 380mm guns are well known for their high shell velocity and energy retention. While this does assist in preserving penetration power over distance, this does have the side effect of causing many shells to overshoot or undershoot their target. Penetration values courtesy of the World of Warships AP calculator (link provided in the Appendix). Jean Bart (and Alsace) have the worst battleship penetration at tier IX. However, it would be a mistake to call her penetration "bad". She is capable of landing penetrating hits on enemy battleships at all but extreme ranges. Unassuming Armament Jean Bart's main battery uses the same 380mm guns found on the tier IX battleship Alsace and her tier VIII sister ships, Gascogne and Richelieu. These weapons are characterized by their admittedly large dispersion area, high shell velocity and energy retention, good penetration and middling damage. The precision of her shell fire has been tuned to be identical to Gascogne at 1.9 sigma making her gunnery feel comfortable and rewarding careful aim. While the high velocity of her shells and dispersion pattern does lead to the occasional wonky spread of shells, on the whole these weapons behave themselves better than the infamously temperamental weapons found on battleship Roma. 380mm guns already feel long in the tooth by tier VIII, to say nothing for tier IX. Unable to overmatch the bows of German and American heavy cruisers, their performance is often found wanting. Jean Bart compensates for this with having an accelerated reload of 26s. While this may seem impressive at a glance, it is the same reload timer found on the Bismarck-sisters a full tier lower and it's less than Monarch's 25s with nine rifles also at tier VIII. Still, Jean Bart's firepower is superior to these other ships grace simply of her gun arrangement. Having all of her weapons mounted on her bow facilitates their use which, combined with the higher precision of her guns, allows her to output more damage than any of these lower-tiered rivals. Still, she should not be able to compete with the likes of the Iowa-sisters, Lion or Alsace. And yet, she not only competes with them -- she puts them in their place. Jean Bart wins no prizes for her stock DPM values, but that's not where her strength lies. The Dreaded Box o' Gimmicks Wargaming has produced the horror or horrors in Jean Bart by giving her access to the consumable Main Battery Reload Booster. Originally dispensed to the French cruiser line, Jean Bart is the first (and probably not the last) battleship armed with it. Understand that this, more than any other trait, is what makes Jean Bart so formidable. When her consumable is properly managed, Jean Bart is game breaking. When it isn't, she's an up-tiered Richelieu with good AA power. The Main Battery Reload Booster is still new, so let's start with an explanation of how the version found on Jean Bart works. This should hold true for other ships, but in case it gets grandfathered in with nerfs, this will serve as a handy reference. While active, it doubles the speed at which Jean Bart reloads her main battery. It does not halve the time it takes for a shell to be reloaded. This is an important difference. Allow me to show what I mean: I've redone this damn chart nine ten eleven TWELVE FREAKIN' times. The most recent change to this consumable occurred with patch 0.7.10. While the booster is active every second spend reloading counts as two seconds. What the booster does not do is simply halve the reload time -- ie, turning the cycle time down to 13s for any shells being reloaded during the consumable's active period . There's no way to cheat the system and fire an extra shell at a fully halved reload by timing the consumable use carefully. The benefits of Jean Bart's consumable apply immediately and only for the duration that it's active. The benefits of her consumable stack with the gains made from the Main Battery Modification 3 upgrade and the Adrenaline Rush commander skill. The numbers here get truly frightening, with a Jean Bart at 50% health being able to cycle her guns as quickly as every 10s with her consumable active. For an enemy vessel caught within a turn, this is devastating as Jean Bart is capable of putting repeated volleys downrange before they can turn away or make it into cover. And it's here where this unassuming battleship becomes overpowered. Jean Bart's all-forward gun placement makes her arcs feel very comfortable -- at least until you have to start running. Be very careful of unmasking her B-turret when you do. This will open her up to taking some hard hits from over angling. Devastating Strikes & Burninations on Demand The all-forward gun arrangement on Jean Bart means that her guns are almost always going to be at the ready when a target of opportunity arises. Her Main Battery Reload Booster guarantees she'll have the right shells loaded. Moreover, her consumable makes it very likely she'll be able to take two bites of the apple before they're able to correct their mistake. It cannot be understated how disgustingly powerful this consumable is in the right hands. Jean Bart may not have the same raw damage output of her peers over time, but she has all of the tools, between gun arrangement, precision, penetration and reload time to make her guns far more devastating in the short term. This emphasizes a battleship's strengths -- overwhelming alpha strikes. Jean Bart is better equipped to deal them more often than any of her contemporaries. It goes beyond landing AP volleys on exposed broadsides. Jean Bart is just as capable of stacking fires with her HE shells in short order with the use of her consumable. If an enemy battleship blows their Damage Control Party, Jean Bart's fast rate of fire will deliver upwards of 24 shells inside of 33 seconds. Even with the modest (for a battleship) fire chance, Jean Bart can match the Royal Navy for infuriating stacks of blazes. Duly warned be ye, says I. Almost excellent - Except they totally suck Jean Bart's secondaries suck moose-balls. She boasts a similar secondary load out to her sister Gascogne but she has even more 100mm guns. This looks terribly impressive on paper. They have a good range. Her smaller caliber guns have a phenomenal rate of fire of 20rpm which more than pads their uninspiring 5% base fire chance. And, really, that's all their good for -- setting fires. They can only directly damage areas of 16mm of armour or less -- that's not even enough to contest the hull of tier VIII+ destroyers she faces. Taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells will enable her to the penetrate up to 21mm but that's a damn heavy investment. You can go this manly route if you wish. It's hardly optimal, even if it is hilarious. Jean Bart's armour scheme does not hold up well in a brawl (see below) so this is a heavy gamble. Still, with her Main Battery Reload Booster, she can be a formidable opponent in close quarters if you like to live dangerously. Summary Main battery is unassuming. Secondaries suck unless you invest heavily into them. And opportunist par excellence, Jean Bart can capitalize upon opponent mistakes like no other battleship thanks to her reload consumable. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : An increase in gun caliber would do it, even without the accompanying increase in shell damage. Jean Bart is contesting Musashi for the top spot. Her guns are that good. Defense Hit Points: 69,000hp Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mm Maximum Citadel Protection: 32mm torpedo bulge + 330mm belt + 50mm turtleback + 50mm citadel wall. Torpedo Damage Reduction: 32% Jean Bart holds the distinction of being the most vulnerable of the tier IX battleships. However, she doesn't rank last because of some crippling flaw. Her armour protection is sufficient. Her consumables aren't broken in any way. It's really just a deficit of hit points combined with a vulnerability to HE shells that puts her in last place. Jean Bart's hit point total are not those of a tier IX battleship. With healing scaling directly with a ship's base hit points and lacking the portable dry-dock of the Royal Navy, Jean Bart starts off the Durability-race with an immediate disadvantage, but she's not so far behind as to no longer be competitive. While she doesn't have deep reserves of health to absorb damage (or the healing potion to recover from it), her citadel protection scheme isn't lacking. She has decent anti-torpedo defense, for example, sitting at a modest, but respectable 32% damage reduction (and a far cry better than most of the other tier IX battleships, I might add). Her citadel placement is very-French. Her magazines and machine spaces sit just beneath the waterline, protected by a 50mm turtleback and a reverse-sloped belt. Combined, Jean Bart is all but immune to citadel hits at a distance. However, the steep grade of her turtleback lets her down at point blank ranges. Like Alsace, Gascogne, Richelieu and République, she is exceedingly vulnerable in a close-range brawl to broadside citadel shots from large caliber AP shells. On the whole, Jean Bart stands up well to AP fire and torpedo hits. Against high explosive fire, her defense scheme fails utterly though. Jean Bart's citadel protection is complicated, formed up of no less than four layers, two of which aren't pictured here. The first is her 32mm anti-torpedo bulge (not shown). Then shells strike her upper (330mm) or lower (250mm) belt, though the latter will usually necessitate plunging through water first, further reducing penetration. After that, her 50mm turtleback (not shown) gets in the way. Finally, there's her citadel wall which is between 30mm overt he machine spaces and up to 50mm over her magazines. Jean Bart doesn't sport the weakness of a thin citadel roof allowing for overmatching like some Royal Navy battleships, boasting 50mm on top of her 150mm deck protection. Note this last part differs from her sister, Richelieu which has 170mm of deck protection over her magazines but only a 40mm citadel deck. The entirety of Jean Bart is covered in deliciously squishy 32mm of armour that just loves to give up hit points. The only exceptions are her bridge, main battery and anti-torpedo bulges and that's hardly enough to guarantee a large number of shell-shatters. Jean Bart is exceedingly vulnerable to 150mm+ HE fire buffed with the Inertial Fuse for HE shells commander skill. German cruisers and battleships secondaries can exact a costly sum too This flaw isn't unique to Jean Bart, with American and British battleships sharing a similar fear of HE spam. However, when you factor in Jean Bart's lower hit point total and lack of a British mega-heal, this weakness becomes more pronounced. You're going to want to make American light cruisers die quickly. Make sure you have your Main Battery Reload Booster handy when an opportunity comes up to delete one of those mother truckers. One a side note, her 32mm armour also gets undone by 460mm AP shells from Musashi and Yamato. So there's that too. ] This is why light cruisers (and ducky destroyers) love Jean Bart. Anything that's teal is fair game for ships that can muster up 32.5mm of penetration or more with their HE shells. The brown section along her hull represents her anti-torpedo bulge which will absorb HE hits without taking damage. Finally, Jean Bart enjoys relative immunity to American AP bombs. They lack the penetration sufficient to punch through the multiple layers of armour protecting her citadel. Graf Zeppelin can land the occasional citadel hit but, by and large, she struggles in the same manner as American dive bombers. Jean Bart will still take a healthy amount of damage from these attacks -- overpenetrations will be rare, but at least she won't be deleted outright. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Jean Bart would need a truckload more hit points, a special Repair Party consumable or deck and upper hull armour sufficient to stave off HE attacks from light cruisers. Agility Top Speed: 30.0 knots Port Turning Radius: 850m Rudder Shift: 16.0s Maximum Turn Rate: 4.1º/s Am I really going to talk about the manoevrability of the tier IX thunderchunkers again? Look, none of the tier IX battleships could ever be described as agile. The best that could be said is that some of them have the straight line speed when they care to exercise it. However, we all know that the current meta doesn't let battleships stretch their legs until later in the engagement. Thus those without aren't held back by any means and even Musashi's stately 27 knots is more than capable of keeping up with the pace of battle. Jean Bart isn't the fastest battleship at her tier. With her Engine Boost consumable operating, she can make 32.4kts which is still slower than the Iowa-class sisters. She can't boast the tighter turning radius or better rudder shift time of HMS Lion. What she can claim is to have a good rate of turn, keeping pace with Lion and Alsace. Where Jean Bart claims primacy (and I admit, this claim is tenuous), is the combination of all of her traits. She is not the fastest, but at least she's not the slowest either. She's at least faster than Lion which is arguably one of the frontrunners in this competition. She doesn't have the tightest turning radius, but it's only 20m behind that of the Lion and 40m better than her next closest competitor. Her rudder shift time isn't the fastest, but it's the second best at her tier. Jean Bart matches the best two battleships at her tier for rate of turn. ... and finally, she has the Engine Boost consumable. Engine Boost has always been the trump card of the French warships when it comes to contests of agility. With it, Jean Bart leaves Lion in her wake, not only figuratively but literally as well. She can come about faster. She can control engagement ranges more effectively. With Lion bested, Alsace is her only remaining competitor and Jean Bart's tighter turning radius and rudder shift time makes that a no-contest. Of course, besting Lion and Alsace doesn't make Jean Bart good in this category. In my opinion, none of the tier IX battleships are. But Jean Bart is at least the best of the sorry lot. Evaluation: What would have to happen to DOWNGRADE to : Loss of her Engine Boost alone would do it. When it's on cool down, she's no better than Lion. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 152mm / 100mm / 57mm AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 4.5km AA DPS per Aura: 202.5 / 357 Raw DPS numbers (the graph on the left) can be deceiving. Range is an important factor with anti-aircraft defense and Jean Bart has this is in spades with all of her gun mounts. The graph on the right incorporates range into an equation to better evaluate the overall effectiveness of a ship's AA suite. This is calculated by taking the gun's range less 1km and multiplying it by DPS. While not an absolute measure by any means, it is indicative of the relative AA power of the ships in question. Jean Bart has god-tier anti-aircraft firepower. The only battleship in the game that tops her for effective AA cover is the personal rocket-powered umbrella of HMS Hood, and that's only when Her Majesty's ship is activating her Defensive AA Fire consumable. What makes Jean Bart's AA so effective is the combination of solid DPS numbers combined with her minimum of a 4.5km range. Fully upgraded, she's an absolute monster, outstripping even République and Montana for the potency of her flak. Like most battleships, most of her AA firepower is found in her medium caliber AA guns. Jean Bart's 57mm weapons don't stand up to HE any better than a 40mm Bofors nest, so she can be stripped of most of her threat to aircraft with the gentle caress from a Cockbote. Thus your AA power is inversely proportionate to the amount of HE fire you've taken. Given the current meta at high tiers, that's not going to be very high for very long. Evaluation: What would have to happen to DOWNGRADE to : A Cockbote serenade. Refrigerator Base Surface Detection Range: 16.38km Air Detection Range: 14.16km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 12.30km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 15.05km Main Battery Firing Range: 24.52km Jean Bart's concealment should be seen as "adequate" and nothing more. With the proper concealment build, she shares a surface detection rating with the Bismarck-sisters. She could certainly do worse. Few battleships reward concealment better than Jean Bart. As it is, even her middling concealment value risks making her overpowered. The most obvious use for her surface detection is to drop back into stealth when under fire. Jean Bart doesn't have the deep hit point reserves of other tier IX battleships, and having the ability to disengage at will is a useful trick. However, it's not this defensive ability that risks making Jean Bart an overpowered monster. It's her ability to use it offensively. No other battleship rewards an ambush play-style as much as Jean Bart. With her fast reload, good penetration and her Main Battery Reload Booster, having Jean Bart magically appear when you're at your most vulnerable is a nightmare scenario. This is where she scales so well with player skill -- those with the map knowledge and the willingness to push in order to set up ambushes get rewarded handsomely. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Losing a kilometer or two of surface detection off her base range would do it. How to Make Roma Look Inadequate There are three main builds that are effective for Jean Bart. The Baby Bunny Build is the ol' battleship standby. Go for survivability increase skills including Concealment Expert, Superintendent, Basics of Survivability and Fire Prevention. The Salty About CVs build makes Jean Bart the scourge of the skies. Grab anything that boosts your anti-aircraft batteries like Basic and Advanced Fire Training and Manual Fire Control for AA Guns. Finally, there's the dubiously effective (but exceedingly Manly) Secondary Build. You'll want all the fixings at tier 4 including Advanced Fire Training, Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament and Inertial Fuse for HE Shells. You can choose between Expert Marksman and Adrenaline Rush at tier 2 depending on if you intend to brawl or not. Final Evaluation Jean Bart seems like such an unassuming design. Who would have thought that an upgraded, up-tiered Richelieu-class would be on my watch-list for one of the most over performing releases of this year? I don't doubt that like Musashi, she's going to fly beneath some players' radar. There will be those that simply do not appreciate the imbalance that Main Battery Reload Booster provides, even when shackled to such unassuming weapons as a mere eight 380mm rifles. To this end, I predict that Jean Bart will become the darling of those few that know how to time their shots and don't use it simply for a flat DPM increase. I do foresee Jean Bart causing issue with some of the more veteran players. Grace of her abilities, this is a ship that by her very design punishes people that try and flex. Lord knows I won't dare turn a ship broadside within 15km of her unless I know her consumable is on cool down. While I would like to think that her gunnery may correct some of the popularity of certain American light cruisers, her ballistics just aren't designed for that. In short, Jean Bart is just going to reinforce the passive meta, albeit without the same obvious ability as ships like Asashio. The final bit of upset Jean Bart may deliver is still far off in the future. She is the best anti-aircraft platform found among the current battleships. With the aircraft carrier rework still months away, it remains to be seen what kind of upset she can deliver to the future version of this game mode For now, keep an eye on this ship. She has comparable earning levels to Musashi and Kronshtadt, which is better than most tier VIII premiums (barring the use of Makoto Kobayashi camo). I still haven't been told how she's going to be made available (seriously). If it's for free experience or coal, you cannot go wrong with this ship. She's too good. Would I Recommend? Seeing as I don't know how she's being made available, take this section with a pinch of salt. She could very well be the next steel-ship to reward Ranked Battle players. She may only be available for free experience or coal. Wargaming has not directly sold any tier IX+ premiums yet, so it's doubtful she'll appear in the premium shop or for doubloons. We'll have to wait and see. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Meh. While shooting down aircraft is hilarious in co-op, the propensity for enemy bots to charge bow in makes her 380mm guns feel inadequate. Go for a MANLY build or don't bother. It would be super cool if she could be used in Operation Hermes, though. I'm still poking Wargaming about that one. Random Battle Grinding: This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Yes. The chaos of Random Battles serves Jean Bart and her god-tier consumable well. She earns a healthy wage too, which doesn't hurt either. For Competitive Gaming: Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. No. Unlike in Randoms, it's less likely that your opponents are going to pull a stupid to make Jean Bart's Main Battery Reload Booster pay huge dividends. The more serious the competition, the less appealing she'll become. Plus Missouri has radar. For Collectors: If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Yes. She looks gorgeous and she's got a fair bit of history to her. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Very yes on toast. After the first time you obliterate some poor sap coming about, you'll never be able to let go. What's the Final Verdict? How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE- The boat is unbalanced, not fun to play and weak. The ship desperately needs some buffs or some quality of life changes. Mehbote - An average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable however she's not going to be considered optimal. Gudbote - A powerful ship, often one of the best ships at a given role within its tier. Usually considered optimal for a given task. OVERPOWERED - The boat is unbalanced and powerful. Typically she's either horrible to play against or she redefines the meta entirely If I have to do this again, I'm getting out the crayons. In Closing Updated for October 23rd, 2018. Jean Bart was finalized shortly before this article was originally published. Three days later, they announced she was going back into testing because of concerns she was over performing. Frustrating as this could have been, the changes have been simple to account for. Jean Bart still risks being overpowered, but the circumstances are far more specific now. She's still a highly competitive ship, but without the clear cut dominance she could demonstrate with alarming reliability in randoms. Wargaming has been mum on what's coming out next. With the Aircraft Carrier rework choking the airwaves, it's a bit of a toss up. Le Terrible was finalized almost two weeks ago however I have not had access to her in order to be able to finish my review, so she's on hold for the time being. I'm mostly done reviewing Prinz Eitel Friedrich too, so it's a race to see which one gets the greenlight first. Thank you all for reading! Appendix World of Warships AP Calculator (n.d.) https://mustanghx.github.io/ship_ap_calculator/
  11. Some of us know of the American legend known as the USS Nevada. This is a battleship that started her life at the same time the Titanic sank, 1912. She was commissioned in 1916, and lived most of her life out at sea. She participated in several famous events, such as the bombing at Pearl Harbor, where she rescued the crew of the Arizona and escaped. Further more, she was the flagship at the Allies last push against the tyranny of the Nazi Reich, D-Day. Despite the punishment she took over her many years of service, Nevada could not be sunk. And when the US Navy had no need of her, she proved even a challenge for them, surviving two nuclear bombs, and a detonator withing her hull. It finally took the combined firepower of several US warships for 5 long days, and a single torpedo that was armed at point blank range before the Nevada finally succumbed to her wounds. Even in death, the USS Nevada sits upright 3 miles off the coast of Honolulu, with her 48 starred American flag, flying proud under the ocean's surface. Right, onto the part that 80% of you actually came here for, the gameplay concept! Please keep in mind, I am using the statistics from the World War 2 refit of the Nevada. Stats: HP - 65,000 Torpedo Protection - 40% Main Battery: 10 x 14 inch guns (3 x 2 turrets, 2 x 2 turrets) Reload Time: 30 seconds Secondary Battery: 12 x 5 inch/51 caliber guns (6 per side, single barrel turrets), 8 x 5 inch/25 caliber guns (4 per side, single barrel turrets) AA: 32 x 40mm Bofors AA guns (8 in 4 housings), 40 x 20mm Oerlikon cannons (Single barrel housing) Top speed: 19 knots Rudder shift: 16.5 seconds Equipment: Damage Control Damage Repair (It's like the British, but only with slightly less stats, 55%) Spotter Plane (No Fighter. This Spotter Plane has 4 charges, the cooldown is only 60 seconds without the Premium, but it only lasts 35 seconds) Reload Booster (Special type: Only increases the Reload time of Secondary Batteries) (Please note: This is a concept, so of course with your help, we can fix these stats at any time) The Nevada will be a unique ship, as it will be the first ship in World of Warships that will require you to own 3 other American Battleships that served alongside this legend, leading up to a special mission at the end. This is a four part mission, and will take quite a bit of doing to get this stubborn old gal of the American Navy. Requirements: Tier VII - Colorado Tier VI - New Mexico Tier VI - Arizona Mission 1/4: Deal 7,311,948 damage to U.S Battleships in the Tier VI New Mexico (Bonus points for those of us who got the reference. Give yourself a cookie.) Mission 2/4: Win and Survive in 6 matches in a row in the Tier VII Colorado (Divisions are allowed) Mission 3/4: Earn 4 unique medals in the Tier VI Arizona; 1 x Dreadnought, 1x Fireproof, 1x Devastating Strike, 1 x First Blood Mission 4/4: Join a Division consisting of Tier VI Arizona, Tier VI New Mexico, and Tier VII Colorado. Deal over 300,000 combined damage, sink 6 ships between you (That's as a team, not physically between you. Or do, I don't care), survive, and win the match. After completing all these tasks, you will then receive a key, which will unlock a special operation just for you. You may take any ship from Tier 6 to Tier 8, as long as they are of the US Navy. This mission will be named, "Showdown of the Fighting Spirits", and it's a 1 vs 1 match with a USS Nevada. That's right, you have to sink the USS Nevada to win. If you succeed, you will get the ship in your Port. Failure, results with you having to do Mission 4/4 again to get another key. I should mention though that the USS Nevada, like the Unique Captains you can fit to your ship, also comes with 3 Passive Abilities. Fighting Spirit: After being on fire for longer than 20 seconds, the HP you lost to the fire is repaired within 8 seconds. This ability only works once per battle. Tough As Old Boots: This ability activates after you lose half your health. You gain a temporary armor buff that increases all your armor by 10mm, and this lasts for 3 minutes. This ability only works once per battle. Final Detonation: (Brace yourself, this one's a doozy) After you're sunk, you emit a powerful AOE explosion that deals 5,000 Damage to enemy ships within a 7.0 km radius of Nevada. Further more, this explosion stays as a circle, similar to a smokescreen, though it doesn't offer any concealment. Instead, this sickly green cloud is filled with radiation, and any enemy ships that travel in it suffer a decrease in health similar to having a single fire onboard your ship. This radiation cloud lasts 2 minutes and 15 seconds. (This is a testament to the same radiation that Nevada was subjugated to when she took those two nuclear warheads and didn't sink.) I believe that with the help of the community, and maybe the attention of Wargaming themselves, we can rebuild this American legend in our game. And though it may be a long time before we can raise the Nevada from her grave, we should at least be able to appreciate her glory and her fighting spirit in World of Warships.
  12. Still sad to be a defeat in the end, but I beat my long-standing USS Iowa damage record of 221k in none other than my Bismarck. At least what I've learned is that if people don't focus you, you can be quite effective in these secondary-spec BBs. If singled out and focused, you die pretty quick. Enjoyed this round nonetheless even with a loss.
  13. Alright Ill be serious about this one, ever since I’ve been reading about Antarctica and its history, I’ve been thinking about a new idea for a new German battleship calling itself the Neuschwabenland. I ain’t trying to spread any conspiracy theory here, all I just want is a premium German battleship calling itself that name in honor of the forgotten colony. So do I have an idea of what tier this battleship is going to be at, well I would say with a big name like Neuschwabenland, I would expect it to be ranging from tier VIII to tier X. I honestly would love to see it at tier VIII as a brawler or even at tier IX as an artillery platform. Anyways, I hope to see it in the future with a snowy camouflage and its own flag.
  14. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Musashi

    Battleship Musashi was provided to me by Wargaming. To the best of my knowledge, the statistics discussed in this article are those of the release version of this ship and are current as of January 17th, 2018. Insert Kancolle boob-wrapping related joke here. Quick Summary: A Yamato-class battleship at tier IX. She has slightly less accuracy, greatly reduced secondaries and AA power. Cost: 750,000 free experience + 1 credit. Patch & Date Written: 0.6.15.1 through 0.7.0.0 -- January 12th through 17th, 2018. PROs At 97,300hp, she has the largest hit point pool of any of the tier IX battleships. Ridiculously thick armour in places with a 410mm belt, 560mm barbettes and 650mm turret faces. Beyond her extremities, her deck armour is a minimum of 50mm, providing her an immunity to most cruiser caliber HE shells. Excellent anti-torpedo defense with a 55% damage reduction. Armed with nine 460mm guns with enormous alpha strike, DPM and overmatch characteristics. Greatly extended active periods and shortened reset timers on her float plane consumables. Players can choose which price they wish to set for this ship, from free to the equivalent of 35,000 doubloons. CONs Citadel is exposed above water and has bad armour geometries which leaves her vulnerable when improperly angled. Horrible gun handling with a painfully slow turret traverse of 2.5º/s. Weak secondary armament, despite their decent range. Worst AA defense of not only any of the tier IX battleships, but also worse than any of the tier VIII battleships. Low top speed, slow rate of turn and an enormous turning circle. Huge surface detection -- possibly visible from space. Her best camouflage is locked behind a 5,000 doubloon additional purchase. Doesn't have Yamato's gun sounds. What the ever loving seagull turds on toast, Wargaming!? Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Even with her exposed citadel, Musashi is dirt simple to play and very casual friendly. By simply pointing her bow towards the enemy, she'll tank tons of damage and deal back a ridiculous amount in return. This same simplicity is also a weakness. There's nothing really fancy a veteran player can do with Musashi -- not without risking blowing out her machine spaces or getting her magazines one shot by a Shimakaze torpedo. She's too big too hide, too slow and clumsy to extract herself from trouble and so vulnerable to air strike, she dare not leave the safety of the herd. It's knowing when to move out and when and where to drop anchor that separates the good from the bad. Her traits break down as follows: These short-hand evaluations are based upon comparing the ship directly with the other tier IX battleships and not across her matchmaking spread as a whole. To say she's a one trick pony wouldn't be far from accurate, but it's one Hell of a trick at tier IX. As you can see, her guns have a lot of heavy lifting to do. Her armour and hit points will go a long way towards buying time to let Musashi lay down the hurt, but only if you can keep her from taking citadel damage. Let's take a closer look at how good these guns are, why they're such a big deal and the controversy surrounding her durability and defense. Options Musashi has a trio of surprises. The first, is the option for her High School Fleet camouflage. The second and third are her non-standard Spotter Aircraft and Float Plane Fighter consumables which have increased active periods and greatly reduced reset timers. Consumables: You have the choice between two aircraft options. The rest of the consumables are fixed. Musashi's Damage Control Party is standard for an IJN Battleship. This has a 10 second active period and a 120 second reset timer for the standard version and 80s for the premium version. Her Repair Party consumable is also standard. This heals back up to 14% of her maximum health over 28 seconds. In her third slot, Musashi has the option of either form of catapult aircraft. The active period and reset timers for these consumables are not standard. Her Spotter Aircraft is active for 120 seconds (instead of 100s) and her reset timer is either three minutes or two minutes depending on if you take the standard or premium consumable (instead of six minutes / four minutes). Her Float Plane Fighter is active for 180 seconds (instead of 90s) and her reset timer is either 90 seconds or 60 seconds on the standard and premium versions respectively (instead of three minutes / two minutes). Musashi's fighter does 55dps with 1,420hp which is on the weak side for this consumable. Premium Camouflage: There are two available to this ship. She comes with her Type 10 camouflage. Y118 - Musashi may be purchased for 5,000 doubloons. Musashi's Type 10 camouflage provides100% bonus experience gains, a 20% reduction to maintenance costs, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. For fans of the anime series High School Fleet, there's the Y118 - Musashi. On top of the bonuses described above, it also adds another +50% to Commander Experience. There are only minimal geometry changes with the High School Fleet camouflage, limited to the removal of the A-crossing rails on the stern. Module Upgrades: Six slots. Standard battleship upgrades. In your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. Follow this up with Damage Control Modification 1 in your second slot. If you access to the Special Upgrade, Spotter Aircraft Modification 1, this isn't a terrible option for Musashi given the increased duration time she already enjoys on this consumable. This would increase it's active time from 120 seconds to 156 seconds. Personally, I would prefer the fire chance reduction and increased torpedo damage reduction. In your third slot, Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal. You do not have the secondary or anti-aircraft firepower worth upgrading. If you're especially salty about turret traverse, you may take Main Battery Modification 2 to drop her 180º rotation time from 72 seconds to 62.6 seconds. This will slow down your reload time from 30 seconds to 31.5 seconds. In your fourth slot, Damage Control Modification 2 is optimal. Taking Steering Gears Modification 2 makes sailing Musashi more comfortable but it does not greatly enhance her agility. In your fifth slot, you have the choice. You may take Concealment Modification 1 to try and reign in your horrible surface detection range (you may as well try bailing out the ocean with a teaspoon, but every little bit helps, I guess). Alternatively take Target Acquisition System Modification 1 for bonuses to spot torpedoes and increase your guaranteed spotting range from 2.0km to 3.0km for what good it will do you. Depending on the skills you are choosing for your commander, one of these two options will make more sense (see below!) And finally, in slot number six, grab Main Battery Modification 3 to reduce your reload time from 30 seconds down to 26.4 seconds. This will sadly increase your 180º turret rotation time from 72 seconds to 81.4 seconds. Enjoy. (If you took Main Battery Modification 2 in your third slot, your reload time will be 27.7 seconds and your turret rotation will be 70.7 seconds for 180º). Firepower Primary Battery: Nine 460mm rifles in 3x3 turrets in an A-B-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Twelve 155mm rifles in 4x3 turrets, Twelve dual-purpose 127mm rifles in 6x2 turrets. If your interest in Musashi had nothing to do with her history, then it's her guns that brought you here. The potential of the Yamato-class firepower being shoe-horned in at tier IX should give everyone fears of this ship being overpowered. Say what you will about the rest of the ship upon which they are mounted, Yamato's guns are arguably the best offensive strike from a gunship available in the game currently. Musashi nearly duplicates her sister ship's firepower but for two very important differences. One of these differences is manageable. The other is not. Let's begin with the latter. In Her Sister's Shadow Musashi's secondary firepower is terrible. She does not duplicate Yamato's secondary battery by any stretch. This is one of the most pronounced differences between the two sister ships. Unlike her anti-aircraft deficit, this is one area which matters. The differences are as follows: Half of Yamato's 127mm secondaries reload in 6.0 seconds. The other half reloads in 5.0 seconds. All of Musashi's 127mm secondaries reload in 7.5 seconds. Yamato has twenty-four 127mm secondaries. Musashi has twelve. Yamato has six 155mm secondaries. Musashi has twelve. Musashi doubles her 155mm complement but halves her 127mm armament. This is a significant drop in firepower even before you account for her increased reload time. The drop in her rate of fire feels unnecessary and punitive. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that Musashi's secondaries do not pose a threat, they are certainly not threatening. You cannot count on them to punish a destroyer or cruiser that gets themselves spotted within their range unless they are on perilously low health. Even then, I wouldn't count on it. Heavy secondary specializations on this ship struggle to earn their keep. Musashi doesn't have the best main battery guns in the game, but she's pretty damn close. The honour goes to her sister and the one small improvement that makes Yamato such a feared presence in World of Warships -- at least when her guns are loaded and trained in your direction. The only difference between Musashi's weapons and Yamato is her sigma value. Yamato has 2.1 sigma. Musashi has 1.8. That's it. That's the only difference. Their range, reload time, rotation rate, dispersion area, penetration -- it's all identical. You're going to hear a lot of noise about how this difference of 0.3 sigma makes all of the difference. They're not wrong in premise, but the emphasis is overblown. Musashi & Yamato's Real Difference All things being equal, Yamato is more likely to land massive, devastating hits than Musashi with her main battery guns. This isn't to say that Musashi isn't equally capable. She is. Statistically speaking, Yamato will simply do it more often. How much more often? I would give it no better odds than one additional time in six going by strict accuracy measures. So for every six devastating strikes you land with Musashi, Yamato will spit out seven. This is a marked difference -- do not underestimate it, but it's not a night and day difference some of Musashi's early detractors would have you believe. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Allow me to explain why these guns are such a big deal. Yamato's 2.1 sigma dispersion (orange) vs Musashi's 1.8 sigma (red). 180 shells fired at 15km, locked onto a Fuso. Both ships are using Aiming Systems Modification 1 against an a target without camouflage. Behind the Hype First and foremost, these guns have one telling flaw: Musashi's gun handling is abysmal. She begins with a 2.5º/s rotation rate and adding Main Battery Modifcation 3 will drop this down to 2.2º/s. And that's about it for weaknesses, truly. Objectively, these are excellent weapons. They are reasonably accurate with the tightest horizontal dispersion values, average sigma, ridiculous alpha strike, penetration and damage per minute properties. These guns hit hard, they hit often, they have tremendous range and you don't need to choose between improved accuracy or improved rate of fire as you might with an American battleship. Anything you hit will be hit hard. A single overpenetration to a destroyer is nearly the equivalent of being hit by two of Scharnhorst's 283mm shells. What's more impressive about them is that like Royal Navy battleships, Musashi can fire one ammunition type exclusively and rack up huge damage totals. Unlike Lion, however, Musashi can rely solely upon her AP shells, confident that she can almost always damage her targets catastrophically when she lands hits. Really, it's as simple as that. Musashi brings the biggest guns in the game to the table. She fires a monstrously huge shell that can damage just about anything it touches. These guns are good -- as you would expect them to be, and a lot of this has to do with their ability to ignore armour that everyone else can't penetrate. Musashi, like Yamato, has excellent fire angles - just a whisker shy of the coveted 300º on each turret. She can nearly guarantee to autobounce any incoming AP rounds while still being able to return fire with all nine gun barrels. Overblown and Overpowered Overmatch If you're unaware, overmatch is the ability for guns of a large enough caliber to outright ignore ricochet mechanics. The idea is simply that the shell is too darned big for a thin piece of steel to deflect them, even at very high angles. The larger the shell, the more steel it can ignore. For Musashi's 460mm guns, this value is 32mm which is a very important value in World of Warships as it forms the bulk of the extremities of high tiered battleships. Her and her sister Yamato are the only ships capable of penetrating the 32mm bows found at tier VIII+. As someone who has played a lot of mid-tier battleship games, I keep forgetting how much of a big deal overmatching is to high tiered battleship players. If you regularly play dreadnoughts from tiers III through VII, you know all about overmatch. Spend any time playing low tier premiums as trainers and you'll learn very quickly that tier III, IV and V battleships are utterly incapable of preventing their bows from being overmatched, even by 283mm battleship guns. You learn to angle, but not angle too much, in order to protect your ship. At tiers VI and VII, you suddenly gain the ability to prevent bow on penetrations from up to (and including) 356mm guns. This is where the laziness begins to set in. At tier VIII, you gain magic bow armour that prevents it from being penetrated by almost everything. Knowing how to angle just right becomes trivial. It always struck me as silly for players to tell me that high tiered game play demonstrated the pinnacle of skill when knowing about proper armour angling became mostly irrelevant thanks to everyone's immunity to each other's AP when they parked bow on. This sparked the outrage that was the Royal Navy HE-fest which runs contrary to the bow-on meta. Well, Musashi's here to shake things up further by making overmatch just a little more commonplace for higher tiered ships. Overmatching in tier VIII+ games is very powerful, if only because the static game play so often espoused in high tier matches makes it so. If someone wants to park themselves in front of your guns, you should absolutely oblige them and stove-in their stupid faces. Against tier VII ships, this is copious amounts of overkill but there are some ships like HMS Nelson that are made all the more vulnerable with the presence of Musashi's armament. Overall, Musashi's ability to overmatch is a very real strength, but moreover, it simply allows her to rely on AP shells and ignore the use of HE almost entirely. For World of Warships, this is very traditional and "proper" battleship game play, even if it as "game breaking" as Royal Navy HE spam. While she is not going to one-salvo delete ships as often as her sister ship, she's still going to do it a lot. So pick your poison. Death by burninating or death by sudden deletion by 460mm blasts of doom. Musashi tops the charts, as you might expect for the biggest guns in the game. Evaluation: BEST What it would have needed to be GUD: Here's where we argue which guns are the second best at tier IX. I'd have to give it to the 419mm found on HMS Lion over the 406mm found on Iowa and Missouri. While the American guns are slightly more accurate and harder hitting, Lion beats them out on penetration and can swap between her AP to her monstrous HE shells giving her so much more flexibility. In addition, Lion doesn't need to choose between accuracy and rate of fire. The ubiquity of Lion's armament almost beat out Musashi -- almost. Slow down Musashi's rate of fire or kick her sigma down lower than 1.8 and she might not be the champ. Durability Hit Points: 97,300hp Maximum Citadel Protection: 410mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: 55% Musashi should be the toughest damn ship at tier IX. She might have been, but she has a crippling flaw: Her citadel sits so high it's nearly in orbit -- even higher than Yamato's own. That Musashi still weighs in as one of the most resilient vessels at her tier when being compared to HMS Zombie-Flanders and the German Juggernaut speaks volumes to the list of her advantages. Excessive Hit Point Total Stupidly Thick Armour Torpedo Defense Citadel Immunity to AP Bombs Musashi has 97,300 hit points. Her closest competitor, one of the H-series amalgamations hiding as Friedrich der Große has 84,300 hit points. This advantage should be obvious, but there's some subtle nuances to it. Players should keep in mind that the maximum hit point total of a ship does absolutely nothing when it comes to mitigating percentage-based damage over time effects like flooding and fire. A single fire on Musashi does just as much relative damage as it would to Kawachi, for example. The flip side of this is that Musashi's large hit point total does provide her with a healthier Repair Party consumable. Each charge heals her back 13,622 hit points over 20 seconds. Why doesn't this make Musashi the BEST? Well, here's why: Musashi loses out on primacy to HMS Lion's zombie-regenerative powers. Interestingly, this only applies if HMS Lion buffs her Repair Party consumable (and she should). In a protracted fight, given enough time to make good use of her consumables, Lion will out last Musashi every single time. Against all other opponents and Lion players that don't know any better, Musashi has the hands down advantage. Unless they burn her to death. Musashi has stupidly thick armour. Most of it is effective, even, which is somewhat of a miracle. Her belt armour is 410mm thick, which doesn't sound like that much until you apply a little trigonometry. At a 45º angle and with the reverse sloping of her belt, Musashi can boast in excess of 600mm of effective plating across her machine spaces. This provides relative immunity to even battleship caliber guns at 15km. So even when not perfectly angled, Musashi's rather well protected. In bow-tanking situations, her turrets protect her from overpenetrations to her superstructure by playing goal-keep with their 650mm turret faces and 560mm barbettes. Overall, Musashi's armour turns away a lot of AP penetrations and AP over penetrations into zero-damage shatters and ricochets. Why doesn't this make Musashi the BEST? Unfortunately, this protection partially undone by her citadel placement and shape. That 410mm armour is Musashi's citadel, so there's no backup behind this. What's more, this isn't the maximum height of her citadel either. There's a turtleback slope, steeply angled that's between 230mm and 340mm thick and with a ludicrious octagonal shape. Because of the angle, the turtleback is typically only vulnerable at very long range, but the vertical slope beneath it is not. This is only 350mm thick (with a 32mm bow on top of that), but given the penetration power of incoming shells at this tier, that's not going to stop anything if Musashi over-angles. Properly angled, Musashi can last for days. It's downright comical watching poor tier VII battleships trying to accost her with their tiny baby weapons. However, when she's facing 460mm caliber shells from another Musashi or Yamato or when an enemy gets her side, any pretense of being able to tank safely goes right out the window and she becomes dangerously vulnerable. I wasn't kidding when I said she had a high water citadel. The octagonal geometry makes Musashi especially vulnerable when she over angles her bow. Her opponents need simply best the 32mm armour there to get a shot into the flat 350mm citadel armour beneath. Musashi has amazing Torpedo Defense. When she takes hit against her torpedo bulges, Musashi outright ignores half the damage done. On top of this, she's incredibly resistant to flooding. Without question, she is the BEST when it comes to torpedo protection at tier IX ... at least when it comes to taking damage. I mean, arguably, it would be best if she could avoid it altogether. Heh, that's a funny joke... Musashi being agile enough to avoid things... Musashi's citadel is functionally immune to AP Bomb Hits. Lert and I spent a lot of time in the Training Room dumping AP bombs over and over and over and over again onto Musashi's decks, hoping to see some big numbers. Neither the American AP bombs nor the German AP bombs ever landed any telling hits. We never saw anything more than penetrating and over penetrating strikes. Math wise, you're looking at well over 30 or more bomb hits to sink Musashi using this ordnance type, which is patently ridiculous. Why doesn't this make Musashi the BEST? Immunity to AP bombs isn't anything new if you're not German. So that's Musashi's durability in a nutshell. Admittedly, it's a mutant, GMO nutshell, but it's a nutshell none the less. When everything goes right (and it will go right most of the time), she absorbs ridiculous amounts of punishment. This is all contingent on identifying where attacks will be coming from and keeping your bow pointed straight towards it. When fire, fish and Yamato-caliber guns appear, it's time to make yourself scarce, but that's a common flaw of all battleships, not just Musashi. Evaluation: GUD What it would have needed to be BEST: Lower her damn citadel. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 27.0 knotsTurning Radius: 900mRudder Shift: 18.7s Maximum Turn Rate: 3.5º/s Don't let the labels fool you: I wouldn't go so far as to call any of the tier IX battleships "good" where their agility was concerned. The Iowa-class sisters are fast but they turn like dumpy ol' butt. Lion has a decent bit of wiggle in her tush but her speed is lackluster and winning out on rudder shift means nothing as it's a garbage stat. It should say a lot that Musashi is the worst out of this sorry bunch. There's no contest here. Musashi wiggles as pleasantly as a syphilitic grandpa without pants. Her top speed of 27 knots is the root of all of her ills. She is not flexible. She cannot dictate engagement distances. Her sluggish top speed makes her middling turning radius into a torturous grind as she slowly wheels about. She takes longer to change her heading than the bricks of the American standard-type battleships at tiers VI and VII. Yet in spite of all of this, she's still fully capable of frustrating players by rotating faster than her turrets. There is nothing pleasant about how Musashi handles. Nothing. Evaluation: BAD What it would have needed to be FAIR: Musashi could have had her turning speed artificially boosted in the same manner as Colorado or New Mexico. These battleships have their turning speed penalty slashed in half -- instead of losing 25% of their maximum speed, they only bleed 12.5%. Musashi would turn at 23.6 knots instead of 20.3 knots which would in turn accelerate her rate of rotation from 3.5º per second up to 4.05º per second -- an enormous change. This would make rotate as well as North Carolina or Monarch. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 25mm / 13mm AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.1km / 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 60.6 / 73.2 / 7 The graph on the left shows the raw AA DPS numbers of the tier IX battleships (and Yamato from tier X). The graph on the right applies a formula {AA DPS x ( Range - 1.0km )} to calculate the overall effectiveness of the ship's AA power. This weights longer ranged weapons as being much more valuable as planes will linger within their effect longer. None of the Japanese battleships shown have what could be described as "good" anti-aircraft firepower. Thus, while Musashi's AA firepower is terrible, it's not like she could have expected things to have been stellar. Musashi's anti-aircraft firepower would be an embarrassment at tier VII, never mind two tiers higher. Musashi is utterly incapable of seeing to her own air defense, regardless of what tier of aircraft are assailing her. A heavy investment into trying to salvage her anti-aircraft firepower can claw her out of the dregs and make her a thorny enough issue to shred a few tier VII planes, but don't kid yourself into thinking you can salvage Musashi's air defense. It will always be terrible. Her improved float plane fighter is probably her best anti-aircraft asset, though this won't prevent a determined CV from burying you. Only a desperate, ill timed and uncoordinated assault on Musashi will ever be thwarted by her float plane fighter. It would be a mistake to think that Musashi's lack of AA defense is a tremendous disadvantage, however. Aircraft carriers are not commonplace. Furthermore, Musashi isn't that bad -- at least in comparison to her tier X sister ship. With the wonderful exception of Kii, anti-aircraft defense has never been a strong point of the Japanese battleships. In fact, Yamato's anti-aircraft firepower would be disappointing at tier IX and only marginally better than Izumo's, so there's no great loss here. If on the off chance you do encounter a Midway intent on deleting you, it doesn't really matter that you're in Musashi. You could have been in Yamato, Lion or Friedrich der Große -- you would still get sunk. The only question is: How many planes would it have cost her when facing those other ships? Evaluation: BAD What it would have needed to be FAIR: A miracle. Yeah. That's all you get. Refrigerator Base Surface Detection Range: 18.00km Air Detection Range: 15.99km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 13.51km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 19.27km Main Battery Firing Range: 26.5km Detection Consumables: Spotter Aircraft / Float Plane Fighter The only thing you're sneaking up on realistically are two IJN Battleships that should really be put out of their misery. Musashi's surface detection isn't terrible. It's worse than that. You should accept right from the word go that you've lost the surface detection war with Musashi. Short of tripping over an Izumo that's given up on hope, there's really not much in the game you'll ever find yourself being able to out spot. This doesn't mean you should give up on concealment entirely. As tough as Musashi is, there will be times when you'll want to avoid being shot at and rigging this behemoth up for her best impersonation of stealth can keep your ship in the game longer. The situations where this will be useful aren't going to be commonplace. However, with Musashi's anti-aircraft firepower and secondaries being absolutely terrible, you may have a glut of spare skill points to devote to Vision Control. But let's be honest: In an ideal game, Musashi's surface detection should be 26.5km as your guns will be unloading almost non-stop. It's really only when the Red team decides to focus upon you in a rude (and game winning) manner that you should look to see if silencing your weapons can help dig you out of the mess you've put yourself in. Musashi isn't fast, so any extraction plan is going to take some time -- time a better concealment build might afford you. This said, any invested skills and modules sunk into stealth for Musashi goes right out the window if there's an enemy aircraft carrier lurking about or a surviving destroyer. Hell, even a leftover float plane fighter from that cruiser you sunk earlier will spot you from at least 14.4km -- further than you can see it and there's almost nothing your pathetic AA can do about it even if it was directly overhead, you poor thing. The only bit of a good news for Musashi in this whole category is that her aircraft -- both her Float Plane Fighter and her Spotter Aircraft -- last longer than the versions found on other battleships. Of the two, her Float Plane Fighter is the real winner, with a three minute up time, which is fantastic for a battleship. This can help you peak around islands, spot torpedoes and generally help alleviate a feeling of being completely blind. While these planes won't survive long in the flak-heavy environment of high tier matches, their reset timers are also short, so it should be less likely that you're caught completely unawares. If you're not considering a full stealth build, then those four skill points could be much better spent between Direction Center for Catapult Aircraft and Vigilance. Evaluation: BAD What it would have needed to be FAIR: Not that much, truly. A couple hundred meters off her surface or aerial detection range could have nudged her down there. The addition of some form of bonus spotting consumable like Missouri's radar might have also done it. As it is, the extended up time on her aircraft is already a good boon that had me debating which evaluation to give her in the first place. Mouse: I need a shorter term than "Vision Control" -- one word preferably so that it fits in the vertical summary pictures.Lert: Refrigerator.Mouse: Synonymous to it, smarty pants. Lert: Oh. Learning to Fight with Two Swords Musashi differs from her sister ship (and indeed, most other IJN battleships) in that she doesn't benefit nearly as much from AA / Secondary boosting skills. While it's always been of questionable merit to emphasize secondaries and AA power in most IJN battleships, with Musashi it's a loser move right from the word go. Here's the skill list I recommend: As ever, start with Priority Target. If you are apt at using the reflections of enemies in your sword blades, then you can take Direction Center for Catapult Aircraft instead. You've got a choice here. Adrenaline Rush is optimal -- it increases your rate of fire further, catapulting Musashi's DPM to beyond monstrous levels. However, for comfort and control, Expert Marksman is probably the better choice to accelerate your turret rotation from a crime against humanity to just a manslaughter charge. Next up, you want to start stacking skills to help with fires. Take Basics of Survivability. Follow that up with Fire Prevention. Your next nine points should be put into Superintendent and then doubling back to grab whichever tier 2 skill you skipped. You have four points left at this stage, which could be put into Concealment Expert (which admittedly, does help but it's not game changer) or a combination of skills like Vigilance and Direction Center for Catapult Aircraft / Preventative Maintenance from tier 1. Final Evaluation Missouri's biggest claim to fame is her credit earning coefficient which is, frankly, off the charts. Thanks to help from within the community, I collected pages upon pages upon pages of Missouri results screens to analyze her credit earning compared to Musashi's. While the sample size from the latter was admittedly smaller, being donated only by fellow CCs and Supertesters, it did give me a glimpse into the earning differences between them. Musashi earns approximately 75% of the credits Missouri earns. Musashi earns approximately 12.5% more than a tier VIII premium. Note I am speaking only of the base credits earned. This doesn't include expenses, premium camouflage or any other bonus. This number was very difficult to isolate and, if truth be told, I'm not sure I nailed it exactly. After analyzing a few hundred results screens from Tirpitz, Roma, Musashi and Missouri, my eyes are ready to fall out of my head. I did learn a few things -- namely that experience and credits are not directly linked, so credit gains differ from experience gains. It should be noted that both Kii and Roma with their Makoto Kobayashi camouflage will have higher credit earning totals than Musashi does. To best them you would need to equip a camouflage with an increased credit earning bonus like the Gamescom 2016. Musashi does earn bank -- never doubt it. She can't threaten Missouri for top spot, however. Musashi (red, long dispersion field) vs Missouri (green, squat dispersion field). Shells recorded with 25% opacity, allowing them to be stacked 4 times. 180 shells at 15km, locked onto a Fuso. Both ships are equipped with their dispersion reduction upgrades (7% Musashi, 11% Missouri). Fuso does not have camouflage. Mouse's Summary: Dirt simple game play. Point your nose at the enemy. Keep pulling the trigger. She's tough as nails until she's not. When one of Musashi's weaknesses (flanking, torpedoes, bombers) gets exploited, she folds quickly. She's closer to Yamato than most people give her credit. So many people dismissed Musashi out of hand: "A downtiered, stock-Yamato," they said, as if this was really something worth derision. The argument went that the free experience costs used to unlock Musashi should be better spent on Yamato instead. That's kind of a silly comparison to make, in my opinion. If you have anywhere close to that much free experience kicking around, you've long made up your mind about whether you want a Yamato or not and probably taken steps to acquire her. Having Musashi on offer isn't going to sudden make buying that Yamato you skipped all of this time worth while. But hey, if she suddenly looks attractive now that Musashi is out, more power to you. This is a very powerful premium battleship. Playing Musashi is all about buying time. She doesn't have Yamato's accuracy. It takes her a little longer to get up to speed -- to make those 460mm salvos really hurt. RNGesus may smile on you early on in a match every now and then, but it's best to bank on the need to stretch out those minutes as best you can to give you more bites of the apple -- to give you more time to drop those 14,800hp warheads on bow-tanking stupid heads and turn the course of battle. Finding a comfortable island shadow to lurk near, probing the enemy until they make a mistake -- that's Musashi's bread and butter. For most players, Musashi promotes static game play, I'm sorry to say. The combination of armour vulnerability, enormous surface detection and slow speed largely relegates Musashi's to such mind numbing simplicity, especially for inexperienced commanders. While she can push, while she can lead a charge and while she can pressure a cap circle, moving away from a safe anchorage undoes all of the benefits of her awesome armour scheme. So long as she has targets in front of her that need killing and she's able to put out effective fire, why risk moving? Frankly, it will win you games. If you do muster up the courage or reckless abandon to sally out in this monster, you're in for a treat so long as the threats to your flank are secured. Musashi is a phenomenal bully when top tier and she's no slouch at tier X either. Putting your ship up on the firing line and absorbing the wall of abuse can spare your team mates undue pressure. You're likely to survive what they can only dream of tanking themselves. There are inherent risks to doing this -- if you team doesn't push while you stick your neck out, no number of heroic damage absorption you demonstrate will turn a losing match into a winning one. You should be able to farm some nice damage before the loss, however, and who knows? The enemy might get reckless enough to drip feed their ships into your guns and turn their victory into a loss. This is why I enjoyed my time with Musashi so much. She's a ship that can really make a difference. Musashi reminded me a lot of my first year with World of Warships where I sank game after game after game into Warspite -- another ship with ridiculously powerful guns and horrible gun handling. I can think of no higher praise than that. There's just one problem... Musashi is overtuned. Musashi does too much damage and she's too tough to be a tier IX ship. The latter definitely helps the former -- whatever accuracy qualms 1.8 sigma may have given the ship design, having Yamato's full health pool a full tier lower gives her enough time to make those weapons sing. This is a ship that needs to be focused down and focused down hard when she's seen or you're going to lose ships quickly. While this ship will not last long when played by someone who doesn't know what they're doing, even in the hands of someone semi-competent, they're going to punch much higher than their weight class. Would I Recommend? 750,000 free experience is a heavy investment and it outright locks out new players. While I'm sure there are those of you out there who have legitimately horded this amount without spending a dime, for most players looking to acquire Musashi, they're going to be looking to use doubloons to convert experience on premiums and elited ships. Newer players have a lot of grinding to do before they can even do that. You're going to need 30,000 doubloons to afford this at the cost of approximately $110 USD or €100 to do this from a zero sum of free experience (and that's not including the extra 5,000 you'll need for her upgraded camouflage or the 300 for the port slot). The longer you spend grinding the experience, the less expensive you can make it. So set your own price. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Absolutely. Musashi's guns seem specifically designed for dealing with bow tanking bots. Her increased credit earning allows her to earn a tidy sum. With her standard premium camouflage equipped, you'll spend 36,000 per match in maintenance with ammunition sitting at 400 credits per shell fired. Just beware dumb bots throwing friendly torps at you. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Very yes. Do you like earning High Caliber and Dreadnought medals? Musashi prints High Caliber and Dreadnought medals. She's one of the best ships in the game for grinding credits -- currently only behind Missouri, Kii and Roma (and the latter two must have the Makoto Kobayashi camouflage). This gets even better with the High School Fleet camouflage for boosting commander experience gains. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Yes. Musashi is very powerful at tier IX. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Very yes. Musashi has the triple incentive of: 1.) Being a free-experience vessel that anyone with a lot of time can acquire. 2.) A beautiful historical vessel with a tragic end. 3.) The option of collecting a fun camouflage for a series players may have enjoyed. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Very yes on toast. Subjecting a Pensacola-class cruiser to 460mm guns is a level of fun everyone should experience before the American cruiser line gets redone. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - The boat is unbalanced, not fun to play and weak. The ship desperately needs some buffs or some quality of life changes.Mehbote - An average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable however she's not going to be considered optimal.Gudbote - A powerful ship, often one of the best ships at a given role within its tier. Usually considered optimal for a given task.OVERPOWERED - The boat is unbalanced and powerful. Typically she's either horrible to play against or she redefines the meta entirely. In Closing Hey, I made it. This review, like Ashitaka and Makarov before it is being done at the last minute. I hope quality hasn't suffered overmuch. It's still adhering mostly to my vision of what I want these reviews to look like going forward. They will continue to evolve -- you'll note that the Angry YouTuber review was hiding at the end again. Hopefully my "Overpowered" evaluation doesn't take anyone by surprise. I'm confident that over time others will begin to see the horrifying potential of a Yamato-class battleship at tier IX, even without its 2.1 sigma, secondaries, or AA firepower. Thank you all for the feedback on my Roma review. I'm going to continue to try out new things going forward; we'll see what works and what doesn't. Please don't hesitate about reaching out to me to let me know what you like and what you would like to see improved. Hopefully for my next review, I'll have a little more time to experiment more. I really just had to push through this one to try and get it out for the ship's launch. I want to extend a special thank you to my Patrons on Patreon who have already pledged their support. I'm looking to do more with that shortly, including setting up an easier way for you all to contact me. Hopefully this review is indicative of the amount of time and energy that I put towards these projects -- even on short notice, I do my best not to let you guys down. This isn't done without cost, however, and your support really helps me make ends meet. If you enjoy my reviews and are not already a patron, please consider helping out so that I may continue covering ships as they're released. I honestly don't know what's next after Musashi. I think I'm going to have to poke Wargaming and see what's on the docket. Maybe I'll have time to revisit an older review.
  15. Totenliste

    Italian Battleship Lineup

    Really need some more BB action. So killing time made a possible lineup based on comparisons: Battleships T II: Regina Margherita https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regina_Margherita-class_battleship (possible but not necessary like Mikasa think premium) T III: Regina Elena https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regina_Elena-class_battleship (the 1902 proposed upgraded version all one caliber by Cuniberti) T IV: Dante Alighieri https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_battleship_Dante_Alighieri T V: Andrea Doria/Caio Duilio https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_Doria-class_battleship (alt: Conte Di Cavour) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conte_di_Cavour-class_battleship [Giulio Cesare] T VI: Francesco Caracciolo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesco_Caracciolo-class_battleship T VII: BB 1935 was in response to the French BB Dunkerque T VIII: Littorio https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Littorio-class_battleship [Roma] T IX: Impero (Impero and Piave/BB1936 from below links) an upgraded Littorio (led to the design of Sovetsky Soyuz T XI Russian BB) T X: Piave/ BB1936 also called UP 41 (Think Littorio but with 406mm guns) *: Tier V (though possible alt) and VIII were already decided. *Always open to suggestions if anyone has a better idea for a ship or a tier placement. Special Thanks go to the 2 guys links above.
  16. So I was just curious about peoples opinions on this particular ship class. It is personally one of my favorites despite its rather speckled history. If you do not know, its members include the Prince of Wales which had problems with its quadruple turrets while fighting the Bismarck, albeit partly responsible for its destruction. Later it and the battle cruiser Repulse were the first capital ships ever sunk solely by air power, sunk by the Japanese if you were wondering. Throughout the war they had issues with their quadruple turrets though they served well nonetheless. So I was curious what everyone thinks its tier and stats might roughly look like (don't need numbers necessarily). I for one thing it will be tier 8-9 and have a fairly well equipped AA defense. In real life, it seems like it had approximately 20 less individual AA guns than Iowa, though it had the quadruple setups of 40mm that the Warspite has already in game. It could go 28 knots so again securing its position at tier 8, and was one of the last British WW2 Capital ships ever made, being succeeded by the HMS Vanguard. I have been wondering to myself whether Wargamming will show the rather slow reload caused by the complex quadruple turrets in game by giving it a slower reload, or if they will give her the official/predicted reload rate. She only used 14 inch guns, but there was 10 of them and they were said to have a very high penetration value with their AP rounds and as such very deadly. So this would go along with the theme that the Warspite currently seems to have consisting of a presumably fast reload compared to other BBs, slow turret turning and a high penetration value which can be seen in the Warspite's high volume of citadels. Oh and don't forget the nice secondary DP battery. Just me rambling about my opinions and the little and possibly unreliable stuff I have read/heard about the ship class, that I think looks pretty nice. What do you guys/gals think?
  17. rafael_azuaje

    USS Minnesota (BB-22) for T2

    I want to the Uss minnesota for T2 is very similar to MIKASA , and too it has lots secundaries guns General characteristics [1] Class and type: Connecticut-class battleship Displacement: 16,000 long tons (16,000 t) Length: 456 ft 4 in (139.09 m) Beam: 76 ft 10 in (23.42 m) Draft: 24 ft 6 in (7.47 m) Propulsion: 12 Babcock & Wilcox boilers 16,500 ihp (12,300 kW) Speed: 18 kn (21 mph; 33 km/h) Complement: 827 officers and men Armament: 4 × 12 in (305 mm)/45 caliber Mark 5 guns 8 × 8 in (203 mm)/45 caliber guns 12 × 7 in (178 mm)/45 caliber guns 20 × 3 in (76 mm)/50 caliber guns 12 × 3-pounder guns 4 × 1-pounder guns 4 × 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes Armor: Belt: 6–11 in (152–279 mm) Barbettes: 6–10 in (152–254 mm) Turret Main: 8–12 in (203–305 mm) Turret secondary: 7 in (178 mm) Conning tower: 9 in (229 mm) DONT FORGET PART OF HISTORY UNITED STATE NAVY PLEASE WG USS MINNESOTA BB-22
  18. The following is a review of Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of July 27th, 2017. You don't wanna know how many times I misspelled that. Quick Summary: An ugly-as-sin Soviet battleship with twelve 305mm guns, surprisingly good anti-aircraft firepower and a unique Damage Control Party consumable. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Patch and Date Written: 0.6.8. July 24th, 2017 until July 27th, 2017. Closest in-Game Contemporary Imperator Nikolai I, Tier IV Russian Battleship Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique The Gangut-class of Battleships, to which Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya belongs, precedes the Imperator Nikolai I through the Imperatrista Mariya-class of battleships, making the two ships two generations removed from one another. The two ships look very similar, though Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is quite obviously a more modernized (and ooglay) looking ship that shares the same design philosophy. Overall, Imperator Nikolai I is slower, tougher, with easier to use artillery. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is faster (but not much faster), with a quicker reload and comes with much better anti-aircraft firepower. Tier for tier, Nikolai is the better boat, hands down. I don't think anyone's surprised. PROs Unique Damage Control Party consumable, with an accelerated recovery time (30s/20s) between uses. Excellent waterline protection for bow tanking. Powerful broadside with twelve 305mm rifles, creating large alpha strikes & good DPM. Except for tiny sections of the bow and stern, her main hull and deck are all but immune to cruiser-caliber HE shells. Good anti-aircraft firepower for her tier. Small surface detection range for a battleship of 13.68km. Gangut butt is best butt. CONs Damage Control Party has a finite number of charges per match. Small hit point pool of 42,500. Poor overall protection with 225mm belt armour, 203mm turret faces and 10% torpedo damage reduction. Awkward gun placement combined with a slow turret traverse makes gun handling feel frustrating. Her 305mm lack penetration power, especially when facing tier VII ships. Pathetic secondary gun battery. Short ranged AA firepower and unable to benefit from Manual Fire Control for AA Armament. Feels rather blind without a spotter aircraft or float-plane fighter. This is one of those warships that I've been eagerly awaiting to join the game. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is the lead ship of the Gangut-class Battleships. She's actually the Gangut-herself, renamed by the Soviets after the Revolution. She appears in this game in her full modernization received by 1944/1945. This means she's a contemporary to the British Dreadnought-class battleship gussied up and shoe horned in a tier V. Colour me amused. Let's take a look under the hood. Options Like all battleships that aren't American or Japanese (or Warspite), Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's Damage Control Party has a 15s active period where it will not only remove any critical hits from damaged modules (as well as putting out fires and stopping floods), it will also prevent such damage from being reapplied so long as the consumable is active. Where this ship differs is with this consumable's reset timer. Normally, battleships suffer up to a two-minute cooldown between uses. This can be reduced to a minute and twenty seconds with the premium version. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has a thirty second reset timer, standard. The premium version drops this down to a mere twenty (!) seconds. And you're going to want the premium version of the consumable -- stock, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya can only use this consumable three times. Taking the premium version will not only accelerate her reset timer, it will also provide an additional charge. This can be further boosted with the Superintendent commander's skill to bring the total up to five. Her Repair Party is standard for most Battleships, healing back 14% of her maximum HP over 28s. Oktryabrskaya Revolutsiya has the option of an alternative premium camouflage. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Module Upgrades: Three slots, standard Battleship options. The Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya does not get access to the American Artillery Plotting Room 1 upgrade. Premium Camouflage: Oktyabrskaya has the option of two different camouflages. Her default camouflage is Type 9, tier II to V standard. This provides 30% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Alternatively, you can purchase (for 1,000 doubloons) Krasny Oktyabr - Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. This is a cosmetic camouflage in the same vein as the USS Texas' Stars and Stripes camouflage. This provides the same bonuses as the stock camouflage. The optional Krasny Oktyabr camouflage does not provide any additional bonuses over the default camo and can be purchased for 1,000 doubloons. For upgrades, select the following: In your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. This will help keep your guns active and will better allow you to face-tank incoming rounds. Your turrets will be disabled frequently and this will help mitigate this. In your second slot, take Aiming Systems Modification 1. Oktyabrskaya is a Soviet Battleship and she needs all of the dispersion help she can get. Alternatively, if you want to play with something sub-optimal, you can play up to her AA strengths and use AA Guns Modification 2 to help boost their range. This really helps if your Captain also has Advanced Fire Training. This can make tier IV and V carriers cry though be aware she'll never hold a candle to USS Texas. Do keep in mind this is highly situational in its use, it will not protect you against tier VI+ CVs and you do suffer a small performance hit for taking this upgrade instead of the aiming modification. In your final slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1. This will bump your torpedo damage reduction up from 10% to 13%. Firepower Primary Battery: Twelve 305mm rifles in an A-P-Q-X configuration. Secondary Battery: Ten 120mm rifles in casemates with six forward facing and four rear facing emplacements. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has marginally worse shell penetration compared to Scharnhorst which weighs in at 455mm / 363mm / 289mm respectively. This sits much further behind the 356mm guns found on New York and Texas with their values of 575mm / 467mm / 381mm and even the poor penetration values of HMS Hood at 491mm / 406mm / 337mm. This explains some of the difficulty this ship experiences when uptiered, especially against German and American Battleships. When this happens, choose soft targets or be flexible with your ammunition types. Let's start with her secondaries: They're terrible. By late WW2, the Soviet Army had already cannibalized six of her sixteen original secondary gun mounts for use in the defense of the Siege of Leningrad. This leaves Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya with a mere ten gun mounts for self defense and these guns are not up to the task. They are mounted in casemates down the sides of the ship, with three facing forward and two aft per side. In theory you could get five guns to engage an enemy ship, but that's seldom the case. Usually it's only three. They have many problems. We can forgive their lack of range. 4.0km is pretty typical for low to mid tier battleships. What's less forgivable is their horrid rate of fire at a mere 7.0rpm. We'd expect this of larger caliber guns as the alpha damage (and increased penetration) from individual hits would make up for the disparity in DPM. However, Oktyabrskaya Revolutisya's secondaries are a mere 120mm in size, dealing a pathetic 1,700 alpha damage and being capable of penetrating 19mm of armour or less. The only redeemable quality is their high chance to set fires per hit at a respectable 8% which, some will rightly argue, is a very sizable perk. Still, with the low volume of fire coming off the ship, any blazes will be a surprise. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya uses the same guns found Imperator Nikolai I but with improved characteristics in range (16.8km versus 14.1km), rate of fire (1.88rpm versus 1.67rpm) but worse overall shell groupings (1.8 sigma versus 2.0 sigma). Their weapon performance is otherwise identical . While these are formidable weapons in the limited matchmaker enjoyed by Nikolai at tier IV, the maps upon which Nikolai plays are small, the engagements ranges short, the action close and her opponents soft skinned. They really start to feel long in the tooth when regularly facing the demands found at tiers VI and VII that Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya faces. These are not bad weapons. For 305mm rifles, they have very high damage potential. Her AP shells are the hardest hitting of any of the twelve-inch guns with 8,600 alpha strike. The improved rate of fire over Nikolai combined with the twelve rifles enables Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya to compete well with the damage output of her peers. She is quite capable of deleting any cruiser withing her matchmaking spread from nearly any angle and at anywhere within her range, or biting big 9,000 to 12,000 chunks out of a battleship, even without any citadel penetrations. These guns aren't without their issues, however. First, they are not as well situated as Nikolai's guns. One of the notable strengths of Imperator Nikolai I is her ability to quickly reacquire targets on either side of the ship grace of having her A, P and Q batteries all forward facing. This made it very easy for her to brawl and face tank. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's P turret is rear facing, reducing her ability to shift her fire from port to starboard and back with anything resembling alacrity. It's not uncommon for P turret to be horribly out of position and unable to fire, or the ship needing the use of rudder to bring all of her guns on target. With a glacial rate of rotation of 56.3s for a 180º turn, this problem is exacerbated. This is, singly, the most frustrating aspect about this ship. Combined with this, her X turret has limited fields of fire and can only engage targets 39º off her bow. Opening fire with her X-turret opens this ship up to reprisals, so make sure you time your fire correctly. That ticks off problems two, three and four. Problem number five is one of penetration. As mentioned previously, these guns perform brilliantly on Imperator Nikolai I with the close-range encounters she typically faces. With Oktyabrskaya Revolutisya's ability to extend the weapon reach another 2.7km, the deficiencies in shell penetration become much more pronounced. These are not high-penetration guns and their performance drops below 400mm worth of penetration at about 7km, precluding her from reliably landing citadel hits on enemy battleships beyond this range. She loses the ability to reliably challenge battleship belt armour at 11km. Like other low-penetration battleships such as HMS Hood and Scharnhorst, it's important to shift fire from attempting citadel hits to instead aim for the upper hull of enemy dreadnoughts at these ranges. Otherwise, you'll find a lot of shells shatter, scatter and bounce off armoured belts. Her high explosive shells are passable but unremarkable. They do enjoy a high chance to start fires per shell at 33% and this can be a reasonable alternative when facing hard targets. This shouldn't be the default ammunition selected when facing an angled ship, however. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya can overmatch up to 20mm of bow armour which includes all cruisers within her matchmaking spread as well as all tier IV and V battleships. Here's the final fly in the ointment: Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's main battery has only 203mm worth of armour and a maximum of 150mm of barbette protection. Her guns take penetrating hits often. Even with Main Armaments Modification 1 and Preventative Maintenance, critical hits are common place and catastrophic turret destruction isn't a rare occurrence. The closer Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya gets to the enemy, the more often her turrets end up taking a lot of the abuse thrown at her. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has guns that are meant for brawling, but they're not quite ideally suited for such. Her guns are vulnerable for a battleship. The combination of poor turret placement, traverse times and fire angles increases the challenge too, and you can forget about her secondaries helping out. Still, it's hard to argue with twelve rifles that put out more potential damage than ten 356mm guns. Summary: Gun handling is very poor and cannot be significantly improved. Range is decent, firepower is good, penetration is fine at close to medium ranges. Challenging battleships outside of 10km requires careful aim or switching to HE. Her secondaries suck moose balls. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya allows us to now plot the progression of Soviet Battleship dispersion over distance. It appears to be similar to American Battleship dispersion but with very slightly improved accuracy over distance and slightly worse accuracy at closer ranges. This places the Russians behind the Japanese and British for battleship accuracy and ahead of American and German Battleships and probably the French. We'll need another French battleship in game before that can be made conclusive. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 23.0knotsTurning Radius: 630mRudder Shift: 12.6s Maximum Turn Rate: 4.3º per second. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is faster than a brick. Hooray! At a maximum speed of 23 knots (23.2 knots on a good day) she's not much faster, though. In practice, if you're taking the appropriate WASD anti-torpedo hax counter measures in mind (or just helping her sluggish turrets track targets), she's usually sailing at less than 20 knots. Like most battleships, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya loses about a little more than a quarter of her maximum speed while under manoeuvres. With her rudder hard over, she'll bleed down to 17.2 knots and she will not recover this speed quickly. This isn't a very flexible ship and on larger maps, she struggles as much as Warspite does to get from A to B. For a rate of turn, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya measures up rather well. She's not as agile as HMS Warspite -- arguably one of the fastest turning mid to late tier Battleships, but she does alright. At 4.3º per second, she's halfway between Warspite's 4.5º and the 4.0º per second rotation of New Mexico. Her 630m turning circle is comfortable, as is her 12.6s rudder shift time. Both allow her to slip between islands and slide between torpedo runs with ease. Be advised that as a tier V ship she cannot improve her rudder shift in any way. The only downside is that her turrets cannot keep up. They rotate at a mere 3.2º per second, and even Expert Marksman will not correct this, capping them out at 3.9º per second. Players will be tempted to use their rudder to accelerate the rotation of their guns -- a problem compounded by the need for P & X turret to rotate a minimum of 180º to engage targets on the other side of the ship. Given the problems Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has with her armour scheme, the inevitable over angling this causes can lead to the ship's destruction in short order. As you'll see in the next section, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya excels at tanking but from one direction (and one direction only). This places a burden on her movement expectations. You need to very carefully consider your lines of engagement. Her guns will not allow her to quickly acquire a secondary target coming from an unseen quarter and her armour will not stand up to abuse. Over extend, and you're dead. Allow someone to get your flank and you're dead. Careful positioning is the only way to counter this and she's not fast enough to allow you to recover from these mistakes. DurabilityHit Points: 42,500Citadel Protection: 225mm belt + 38mm turtleback + 19mm citadel wall Min Bow & Deck Armour: 19mm (50mm to 125mm waterline protection) Torpedo Damage Reduction: 10% The major external armour values of Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's protection scheme (rear architecture visible in insert). Note that while her armour isn't thick overall, having a little bit of armour almost everywhere provides some interesting quirks where HE and AP penetration are concerned. Her major weak spot is the 19mm 'beak' of her bow. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya will deliver a lot of mixed messages when you begin to analyze her survivability. She's a story of contrasts. It's best summarized by a quick lists of pros & cons The Good - Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has an armour design of a first generation dreadnought where the armour is spread out across the whole vessel. The armour isn't as thick around her vitals as it will become with more modern designs, but this does provide the following benefits: Short of her superstructure and tiny weak spots on her bow and stern, she is largely immune to direct damage from destroyer and cruiser-caliber HE shells. Only the Yorck can damage her reliably with HE. Even Inertial Fuse for HE Shells does not provide 152mm armed cruisers with enough penetration to regularly land damaging hits. The entirety of her waterline, from bow to stern is covered by a minimum of 50mm worth of armour with most of it being at least 125mm. She will bounce almost everything thrown at her when she angles properly. She can absolutely shut down attempts to stack damage over time effects on her with her short cooldown Damage Control Party. The Bad - The big flaw about having armour spread out everywhere is that it's not especially thick where you need it most. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's citadel protection is the worst at her tier with a maximum of 282mm worth of protection between the three layers of armour over her machine spaces. She is extremely vulnerable to taking citadel hits when she does not angle properly. Her turret faces are extremely thin for a battleship at a mere 203mm thick. Even sloped back as they are (40º) this provides no more than 265mm worth of protection against shots at point blank range. Her barbettes are worse at only 150mm thick. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya takes frequent critical hits to her guns, even from cruiser-caliber shells. She has almost no torpedo protection. Her Damage Control Party can run out. She has the lowest hit point total among battleships at her tier. So, she's a tough battleship that seems to shrug off AP and HE shells without issue one minute and, with one mistake, she's a sinking wreck the next. She can seem very forgiving but she punishes players dearly for their misplays. The end is usually quite abrupt. One of the culprits for this feast and famine durability is her low hit point total. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is not a very large vessel. Not only can she survive less damage overall, this also reduces the amount of returns she sees from her Repair Party. Her healing consumable can only recovery 5,950hp per charge. The two most likely culprits of Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's demise are torpedoes and AP shells. 'Well DUH,' you might say, but Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya takes battleship AP and torpedo vulnerability a step further than most battleships. Over angling is deadly to this battleship, with her belt armour at 31º only increasing to a relative thickness of ~435mm. This is well inside the penetration values of the American and Japanese 356mm guns at 10km or less and can result in the Oktryabrskaya Revolutsiya taking heavy damage from volleys. This is an affliction similar to the one affecting Kongo -- veterans of this ships should be well familiar with this frustration. Texas and König are more forgiving of angling mistakes, grace of the raw thickness of their belt armour which can present a formidable obstacle. Proper management of Oktyabrskya Revolutsiya's angles of approach is key. Never, ever give up her sides. Fortunately, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's armour scheme is proof against most heavy cruiser fire. Even the high penetration, high Krupp values of the USN 203mm from Pensacola and Indianapolis cannot citadel her outside of 5.0km ranges, even against her flush broadside. This ship has very little in the way of torpedo protection, taking near full health strikes from any fish that strike her hull. She starts with only a 10% damage reduction while König, Kaiser, New York and Texas boast a minimum of 22% and as much as 31%. Citadel protection of the tier V Battleships, including the WiP Iron Duke. * Hits penetrating torpedo bulges but not into the ship itself do not strip hit points from a vessel. To this end, the thickness of the belt armour is paramount for preventing ships from taking penetration damage. This explains why ships like Kongo still feel "soft skinned" even though she has similar levels of citadel protection to other battleships. Note that the angle turtleback armour is measured from the vertical, so 90º would be a horizontal piece of steel. Turtleback armour isn't the be-all, end-all for citadel protection. Burying the citadel deep beneath the waterline seems to do more for keeping these vulnerable areas safe. Where Otkyabrskaya Revolutsiya really stands apart from all other Battleships is her Damage Control Party. As previously mentioned in the options section, this has an accelerated reset timer of 30s/20s depending on the stock or premium version. With the skills High Alert, Jack of All Trades and the signal flag November Foxtrot, you could theoretically get this reset timer down to 16 seconds (that's a hell of an investment for a mere four second gain). On paper it would appear to give this Russian battleship near immunity to damage over time effects. However, the limited number of charges on the consumable precludes that. In my experience, it's better to keep to the same habits you would use with other battleships. Do not activate Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's Damage Control Party until there are two fires or a flood present. This will prevent you from running out of charges too early on in a match. You have the option of accelerating the use of the consumable when it will save you, but be cautious of over use. When I played this ship, I always began with five charges available and I only ran out during one match. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 13.68km Air Detection Range: 9.8km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 11.41km Main Battery Firing Range: 16.83km Surface Detection Rank within Tier: 1st Surface Detection Rank within Matchmaking: 3rd Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is one damn stealthy battleship. Only Imperator Nikolai I has less stock surface detection range. Arkansas Beta can out match her grace of its ship-defining access to extra upgrade slots that lets her potentially use Concealment Modification 1. But other than that, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is always going to see enemy battleships before they see her. This is a good thing for this vessel as this not only shores up her survivability, but it also lets her undermine one of the weaknesses of her main battery. She can close the distance and get close to her optimal firing range and not have to suffer the issues of her penetration. I do question how exactly Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is justified as being so stealthy. I mean, she's got a large enough superstructure to make Fuso say: "Whoa, that's a bit excessive, don'tcha think!?" Maybe the lookouts get blinded by the hideousness of this ship that they fail to relay her position? Well, that's certainly one way of staying undetected. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 76mm / 37mm / 12.7mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 3.5km / 3.5km / 1.2kmAA DPS per Aura: 21 / 103 / 47 For a tier V battleship, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya has good AA defense. It's not exceptional, however. She stands above all of her contemporaries with the notable exception of the American premium, USS Texas. She actually shares the Lone Star State's AA flaw with her anti-aircraft guns being limited to self defense ranges. Her DPS weighs in at just shy of half the overall firepower of the American vessel and is comparable to HMS Warspite's totals while being a full tier lower. This is a very respectable sum and can form the basis of an efficient self defense umbrella should a player elect to increase this further. Basic Fire Training and Advanced Fire Training along with the upgrade AA Guns Modification 2 will round out Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's AA total at approximately 207dps with the majority of that firepower reaching up to 5.1km. She does not possess anti-aircraft mounts big enough to benefit from Manual Fire Control for AA Armament, so this skill should be avoided. Short of taking the November Echo Setteseven signal, this is the limit of the pre-game improvements that can be made. Left on it's own, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's anti-aircraft firepower is okay -- enough to bruise carrier squadrons up to tier V and make it far too expensive for tier IV carriers to make continued attack runs against you. The heavy specialization will make her a similarly prickly target for tier V carriers, draining their flight hangars of strike aircraft. However, she cannot make her anti-aircraft firepower strong enough to dissuade tier VI+ carriers, never mind provide her with the illusion of being safe from their predation. As word gets out about her Damage Control Party, it's possible that focus from enemy carriers will drop off. Carriers cannot stack damage over time effects on Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. Dive Bombers start fires? Put them out. Within twenty seconds after it's active period ends it will be available again to stop any follow-up floods. It often takes carriers that long to line up their second attack run so the risks of receiving stacked damage effects is very low. Short of dealing massive alpha strikes, picking on Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya with combined air strikes just isn't worth the time and effort. A Tale of Two Builds Let's not mince words. Here's the optimal build for Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. Here's what you take for your first 10pts: From the first tier, Preventative Maintenance is the best choice. However, if you find yourself struggling not only with situational and map awareness, but risk assessment, then Priority Target becomes more valuable. From tier two, take Expert Marksman. This will increase your turret rotation up to 3.9º per second. This is still terrible, but it's a damned sight better than it was. At tier three, take Superintendent. This doubles up to give you an extra charge of both Damage Control Party and Repair Party. You should still be taking the premium version of both of these consumables, by the way. This skill doesn't substitute the premium consumable, it only supplements it. And finally, take Concealment Expert at tier four. This plays to Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's strengths and lets you get into and out of trouble so much easier. From here, pick up Adrenaline Rush to boost your rate of fire as you take damage. This should be followed up with Basic Fire Training and Advanced Fire Training to boost your good AA power. Carriers are much more commonplace at low tiers, so you will get good use out of these skills, though they have diminishing returns when facing tier VI and VII aircraft carriers. The standard battleship survivability skills have much less value due to Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's Damage Control Party. However, a reasonable alternative to the AA build is to keep Adrenaline Rush but take Basics of Survivability and Vigilance instead. The former will reduce the damage taken from single-fires (which you should normally let run their full course) and Vigilance will give you a bit more warning on torpedoes. This is handy given her preference to be up front. With the one point leftover, double back and grab Priority Target or Preventative Maintenance -- whichever one you skipped out on at tier one. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult I still have concerns that the management of the charges on Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya's Damage Control Party will present a skill-barrier for casual players who pick up this ship. Having five charges through the use of Superintendent and the premium version of the consumable is very comfortable. Three would not be. There's the added problems of her bad traverse and her squishy-as-an-Omaha (I exaggerate) citadel. Yeah, I can see a lot of inexperienced players being frustrated with this ship. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme This ship is rather inflexible. While she has the firepower to really carry a match, she's missing that element of speed to take her carries to the penultimate level. Most of the usual battleship tricks apply to this ship. The gimmick of her Damage Control Party is another parlor trick she can play against her opponents. Mouse's Summary: You're probably going to hear a lot of negative press about this ship facing higher tiered ships. Look, if you're normally intimidated by facing ships two tiers higher, then yeah, keep clear. However, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya can easily punch over her weight class. Seriously. Her guns are good. Her stealth is good. Her durability is good. You can make that work. Speaking of her guns -- treat them like Scharnhorst's AP shells and you'll do just fine. It's twelve Scharnhorst guns every 32 seconds as opposed to nine every 20s. The biggest hurdle in this ship is overcoming the awful traverse and placement of P-turret. Seriously, you're going to want to use your rudder to accelerate it's turn. Just don't do it. I dunno how many times this caused me to over angle and get me sunk. I loved playing this ugly ship. It's amazing how many problems you can solve with 5.65 tons of Stalinium. Every thirty-two seconds, there's another problem solved. Despite the teething issues I had with her gun traverse, this is a fun ship to play. She's as unsubtle as she looks. She hits like a truck, she tanks like a truck, and she looks like something a truck ran over. There was only one problem I really had with her: She doesn't brawl well. Imperator Nikolai I brawls with the best of them, so I thought it natural to give it a go in Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya. Imagine to my surprise to find out she had issues here. Don't get me wrong -- she's an absolute rockstar from the moment you set your sights on your prey and during the opening stages. She bow tanks with the best of 'em and her 305mm guns really put down the hurt. She just can't seem to finish the fights she starts. Everything on the approach will be just fine, but it's that key moment when your ship's paths cross alongside one another that everything goes to Hell. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya eats citadel hits like an Omaha in these engagements. It's like one moment she's a big ol' battleship and the next she's some wussy German light cruiser with an allergic reaction to loud noises. If you can survive that crossover, you should be okay. Her best-butt is pretty tanky. Just don't over angle. But it's surviving that crossover that's really going to be the clincher. I've only managed it once in all of my test games. It made me have a sad. Overall, this ship is a great addition to the meta. She's strong without being unfair. She's got flaws that can be exploited and I appreciate that not only from the challenge playing her well but also in anticipation of playing against her in the future. This battleship will make cruisers and gunship destroyers cry for the ease at which she shrugs off their fire damage. She'll frustrate CVs by negating their damage over time effects. Yet, torpedo boats will laugh at the ease at which they dispatch her small hit point pool and lack of torpedo protection. Enemy battleships that learn her weaknesses can bully her for days. I am very much looking forward to this ship being made widely available. Would I Recommend? Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is tier V and that's going to be a huge strike against her for many players. This tier is the first one out of the kiddy-pool, so to speak, and she shoulders an undue amount of Matchmaking burden to populate tier VI and VII matches. Tier V faces higher tiered opponents often in Random Battles -- maybe too often in the views of some players. Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya isn't ideal for such fights, but she can certainly hold her own and she can certainly perform. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? She does splendidly in PVE Battles, so I would recommend her for Co-Op and Scenario Players. Most battleships tend to do well here and Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya is no exception. In Scenarios, she might be a bit slow, both on straight-line speed and gun traverse to respond to threats quickly, so make sure you evaluate the needs of the mission before blindly taking this ship out. She's good for applying direct firepower and tanking from one direction (and one direction only). Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. It's harder to recommend her here, so I'm going to give her a pass. Lemme explain why: First, she's not a big credit earner. Anything below tier VI really struggles in that department, so that's out. Two, the experience gains for a truly excellent game will struggling to exceed 1750 base experience. This in turn means lower captain training. Three, she has some pretty specific needs for a Captain that do not gel well with the current Soviet tech tree, so she's a bad trainer. The one thing she is good at is achievements. She farms High Caliber, Confederate and Dreadnought achievements like a champ. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. She'll pad your win rate in Random Battles if you're confident with facing higher tiered opponents. She clubs seals like no one's business on top of that. If Wargaming opens up Ranked Battles for tier V, she'd be a good choice. The mix of firepower, durability, agility and AA power are all welcome. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. I still have very fond memories of sinking the Marat in IL-2 Sturmovik. This one is a no brainer for me, but I have a history with this class of ships. Some of you might not. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? If you can get past her awful turret traverse, then heck yeah, she's a lot of fun. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - Grossly uncompetitive and badly in need of buffs.Mehbote - Average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable, but certainly not advantageous.Gudbote - A strong ship that has obvious competitive strengths and unique features that make it very appealing.OVERPOWERED - A ship with very clear advantages over all of its competitors and unbalancing the game with its inclusion.
  19. LittleWhiteMouse

    Premium Ship Review: Roma

    The following is a review of Roma, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. As far as I am aware, this is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of January 12th, 2018. However, things may change before release. GARBAGE - The boat is unbalanced, not fun to play and weak. The ship desperately needs some buffs or some quality of life changes. Mehbote - An average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable however she's not going to be considered optimal. Gudbote - A powerful ship, often one of the best ships at a given role within its tier. Usually considered optimal for a given task. OVERPOWERED - The boat is unbalanced and powerful. Typically she's either horrible to play against or she redefines the meta entirely. Quick Summary: A fast, sneaky battleship with excellent gun handling on its nine 381mm rifles. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Patch & Date Written: Patch 0.6.15.1 to January 1st through 12th, 2018. PROs Has an extended belt which reaches halfway up the prow. Excellent gun handling with fast turret traverse. Phenomenal muzzle velocity and energy retention, giving her fast shell flight times over distance. Great AP penetration power over range. Good concealment with a 14.9km surface detection range which can be reduced down to 11.2km. CONs Citadel sits well above the waterline. Short ranged for a tier VIII battleship at 18.1km. Her guns misbehave, with poor dispersion values, overmatch problems and overpenetration after overpenetration. Awful HE performance with low alpha strike, poor fire chance and mediocre module damage. Anti-aircraft firepower is short ranged with only modest DPS. Large turning radius, mediocre ship rotation rate. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme The ease of her game play is facilitated by her excellent gun handling and good concealment values which will make her more forgiving to novice players. However, her raised citadel and gun accuracy will cause them problems. The combination of high concealment, speed and firepower will be of interest to Veterans and the power of these traits must not be overlooked. Roma's citadel and her smaller-caliber AP shells will hold her back from being a true monster, though. Roma is not a complicated battleship to play. She has no gimmicks to espouse. The summation of her various traits is as follows, with a more thorough breakdown found below in the larger sections. GARBAGE - One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness. MEH - Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either.GUD - Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer.BEST - No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship. Roma is no up-scaled Giulio Cesare. Her guns are average and she has mediocre durability and agility. She has no gimmicks to speak of. The only thing she does well is hide and her AA power is hot garbage With all of these disparate traits, she probably doesn't look very appealing. So how the heck did I reach a "Gudbote" conclusion? Well, let's look into that... Options Like the Japanese premium battleships Kii and Ashitaka, Roma is receiving a special camouflage designed by Makoto Kobayashi. This is not just a skin, but a full on geometry change for the ship, including the infamous "beer can" where her rangefinders would be. It will likely be available through the larger bundle packages when you buy the ship through the online store. Consumables: Roma's Damage Control Party is standard for a non-American / Japanese battleship with a 15s active period and a 120s / 80s reset timer depending on which version you purchase. Her Repair Party is also standard, healing back 14% of her maximum health over 28s. Finally, her Spotter Aircraft is normal. You can swap this out for a Float Plane Fighter which provides 57 DPS and boasts 1,590hp. She has higher DPS than Japanese or American float plane fighters and more hit points than Japanese, American or British fighters. Premium Camouflage: There are two available: The default, Standard Type 10 camouflage provides 50% bonus experience gains, a 10% reduction to maintenance costs, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. The Makoto Kobayashi - Roma camouflage provides 100% bonus experience gains, -50% to the post-battle service costs, +20% bonus credit earning, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. When I first saw this alternative camouflage scheme, I thought it looked ridiculous. However it has really grown on me. The amount of small detail is spectacular. Plus, it looks like Roma is wearing a hat. I like it when not-people things wear hats. Ergo, I like this camo. Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard battleship options. In your first slot, take Main Armaments Modification 1. Next, take Damage Control Modification 1. In your third slot, Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal. It's not worth trying to upgrade her AA Guns or Secondaries. Damage Control Modification 2 is optimal for her fourth slot. You may be tempted to take Steering Gears Modification 2 but this will not significantly improve her agility . Finally, take Concealment Modification 1 in your final slot. This will reduce her surface detection down to 13.04km with camouflage before Commander Skills or 11.22km with camouflage and Concealment Expert Firepower Primary Battery: Nine 381mm rifles in three turrets in an A-B-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Twelve 152mm rifles in four turrets, Twelve dual-purpose 90mm rifles in single turrets. Roma's main battery guns will deceive you. You're going to imagine them as being far more effective than they truly are. The deceptive veil she'll cast over your eyes has three layers; namely gun handling, shell flight time and penetration. They will cloud your vision and make you less aware of two flaws -- one minor but one pronounced -- the latter of which has the potential to greatly sour your enjoyment of this ship, no matter how comfortable her earlier lies may have felt. Beautiful Lie #1: Gun Handling The first beauty-mark you'll note is Roma's turret traverse rate and she may win you over with just this aspect. Her gun handling is simply gorgeous with her turrets rotating at 6º per second (a mere 30 seconds for 180º). This is 50% faster than the 4º per second rotation of ships like Kii, North Carolina and Monarch and a whole degree per second faster than Bismarck and Tirpitz. Thanks to this, laying her guns on target is a breeze and there's no chance of her aim slipping off target even while under heavy manoeuvres. In brawls, Roma can easily track enemies even on close approaches. Her forward fire angles are similarly wonderful. They almost hit the highly sought after (but so seldom realized) 30º-off-the-bow benchmark which defines truly excellent fire arcs. Her X-turret can engage enemies 31º off her forward centerline, allowing Roma to take very aggressive bow-on attack angles and necessitating only the slightest touches of a rudder to unload all nine guns. In short, Roma's gun handling is fun. You will never feel like you're fighting with this ship to bring your weapons to bear. Beautiful Lie #2: Shell Flight Time Roma has one of the fastest muzzle velocities of any tier VIII battleship, making gunnery a delight. What's more, her shells preserve this energy beautifully over distance which in turn leads to lower shell flight times. She can put a shell out to 10km in less than five seconds and one out to 15km in less then eight. This is something which Bismarck, Amagi, Monarch and North Carolina cannot boast. In the time it takes North Carolina to throw a shell out to 17km, Roma can bullseye a target at 20km. Her short lead times greatly cuts into the reaction time enemy ships have to evade your shells, even at range. Beautiful Lie #3: Penetration The high velocity of Roma's shells translates to great kinetic energy. It's the preservation of said energy over distance which makes Roma's penetration values so frightening. She doesn't have the same raw penetration power at point blank ranges of the Japanese 410mm shells. However, at ranges greater than 10km, Roma takes primacy, outstripping every other battleship with her energy retention. She has comparable and better penetration at 20km than Bismarck and Monarch (respectively) have at 15km. Roma is thus a threat at all ranges, capable of stacking damage even against thick hided battleships within reach of her weapons. These three traits will deceive you into thinking she's well set up to land damaging hits against enemy vessels. Her guns can snap onto a target quickly. Her muzzle velocity makes leading said targets easy, allowing you to catch targets before they're able to dodge or angle. Her penetration power all but guarantees that any hits you land will be damaging ones. That's all well and fine in theory, but in practice, problems arise. Roma boasts good fire arcs forward thanks to the excellent sweep of her X-turret. Her rearward arcs are terrible, forcing you to expose far too much of your broadside. Anytime you fire to your rear, you risk taking catastrophic damage. Harsh Truths No one can take away the awesomeness that is Roma's turret traverse rate and shell flight time. Let me be clear: few battleships have as smooth and comfortable a rotation and short lead times of their main battery as this Italian beauty. However, not everything about her guns lends to good performance. Roma's fire angles are the first let down. It's true, her forward fire angles are wonderful. However, rearward, it's a completely different story. Firing from A or B turret while on the retreat will get you sunk in a hurry. This isn't a problem unique to Roma, but few battleships can be punished as readily as Roma when they over angle due to her high water citadel (more on that later). I've found it preferable to use (and abuse) Roma's concealment if forced to retreat. At close range, her high muzzle velocity can also be a detriment. With the standard 0.033s fuse timer, Roma's shells risk blowing clean through more lightly armoured cruisers, especially at short ranges. To test this, I used a Reference-Omaha™ and found that Roma must be at least 13.3km out in order to land citadel hits on a target showing her flat broadside, provided the shells didn't strike water first. North Carolina can manage the same at 5.0km, owing to her lower muzzle velocity and steeper angle of her shell fall. This is a problem that extends beyond Reference-Omaha™ and it can be infuriating to catch a cruiser broadside with perfectly aimed (and dispersing) AP shells only to watch them all over penetrate a Chapayev or Edinburgh. Being unable to overmatch the bows of select cruisers just exacerbates matters. This leads me to stare down the problems Roma has with AP penetration with her 381mm rifles. She cannot overmatch the 27mm extremities found on many heavy cruisers at tier VIII+. It's surprising how much of an issue this causes. A properly angled American or Japanese heavy cruiser can simply bounce her AP shells for days with the appropriate stance. When combined with the fuse problems mentioned above, Roma must juggle different optimal fire ranges when engaging different targets. To penetrate small, lightly armoured vessels like Nurnberg-class, French or Royal Navy light cruisers you need distance. You may have to wait until the target angles slightly before sending your shells off. For tier VIII+ heavy cruisers, you need to catch them broadside or risk seeing your volleys bounce ineffectively. Roma's dispersion with Aiming Systems Modification 1 installed. 180 shells fired, salvo by salvo at 15km, locked onto a stationary Fuso. One of Roma's more pronounced gunnery weaknesses is her poor dispersion. This isn't so much a trait of her 1.8 sigma, but more of her long vertical dispersion axis which you can see here causing tremendous levels of overshooting and undershooting the target by a whole ship length to either side. This is approximately 50% larger than comparable area of battleship Alabama and Massachusetts which cannot mount any dispersion modification. The Big Fail: Dispersion and HE. Roma's most telling flaw with her guns is her dispersion. The Italian battleships of the Regia Marina use German dispersion patterns. In this regard, Roma's gunnery is most akin to Bismarck with one extra gun barrel and 4 seconds longer on her reload. The high velocity of her guns causes many shots to land long or short. Couple this with the wider base horizontal dispersion than any other battleship group in the game, and Roma's German dispersion leads to a lot of wonky shell groupings. It's not like Roma can simply reach for HE and solve her penetration issues either. Roma's HE shells deal a low amount of damage at 5,100 maximum per shell. That's 1,683 per penetrating hit and 852 damage per saturated penetrating hit. These values do not compare well to the 1,200 damage done by one of Roma's over penetrating AP shells. Her fire chance is abysmal at a mere 24%. She doesn't even have an especially large module-damage radius. For all this lackluster performance, she doesn't even get to enjoy the German bonus HE penetration. You largely want to avoid having to resort to these shells unless circumstance deem it necessary. Relying on Roma's HE shells too often will see her damage potential plummet. In summary Roma's gunnery is inconsistent -- more so than many other battleships. While it is easy to bring her guns on target with her fast traverse and anticipate their manoeuvres with her high muzzle velocity, Roma is unreliable at landing solid, damaging hits. This is very frustrating for a ship where the gunnery otherwise feels very comfortable. Her dispersion forces you suffer the whims of RNG. Even when you line up the perfect shot, over penetrations and ricochets will abound and her HE shells are downright anemic. Roma has two secondary gun types and neither is effective. They lack range, with a 5.0km base reach. In addition, one mount does not fire fast enough and the other is too small in caliber. The most dramatic of the pair are her 152mm rifles, mounted in triple gun turrets, two per side flanking B and X turret respectively. They are incredibly slow firing with a horrendous 12.0 second reload and they use AP ammunition. The best thing that could be said about this particular mount is that the muzzle blast is enormous and your opponents may mistake it for you firing your main battery guns in a brawl and expose their sides, thinking themselves safe to fire back. Roma's 90mm guns fire much more quickly with a 4.0s reload. Though they fire HE, their fire chance isn't particularly good. What's more, their small gun caliber makes them ineffective at dealing direct damage enemy ships. Even most destroyers in her matchmaking spread can boast enough armour to foil the penetration value of her HE shells. Short of peppering superstructures, these guns aren't going to do much in the way of direct damage themselves. Taking Inertial Fuse for HE Shells will increase her penetration enough to allow her to directly damage destroyers and some light cruisers with these guns, but that's a heavy investment for questionable gains. In general, it is not worth sinking upgrades, consumables or skills into Roma's secondaries. Conclusions It's hard to call any of Roma's weapon systems "good". Roma's 381mm guns do not enjoy the rate of fire bonus found on Monarch, Tirpitz and Bismarck. Maybe if she had that phenomenal rate of fire or some accuracy tweak, I could shower them with praise with good conscience. However, with a piss-poor HE shell and forgettable secondaries, Roma is reliant upon her main battery AP shells to carry the day. Fortunately, they're sufficient to the task. And maybe that's the best way to define Roma's AP gunnery: It's comfortable and it's sufficient. She won't win any prizes but she'll hold her own. Summary: Roma's gunnery feels so comfortable. Her gunnery performance is spotty. They seem to do really well against battleships (up until they angle) but against cruisers, it's a lot more inconsistent depending on angle, ship type and range. Her secondaries aren't worth specializing into. Evaluation: MEH What it would have needed to be GUD: Roma's dispersion can be very unkind. A buff to her sigma value would alleviate this. An alternative solution would be shaving a second or two off her reload time. With so many misunderstandings about the reload time of the Littorio-class, I suppose we should be glad that Wargaming kept it to a mere 30 seconds. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 30.0 knotsTurning Radius: 810mRudder Shift: 15.6s Maximum Turn Rate: 4.2º/s Tier 8 Battleship speed, turning radius and rate of turn. Roma doesn't excel in any one area nor does she have any glaring weaknesses. Roma is on the good-side of average for manoevrability for a tier VIII battleship. Her top speed is okay but there are faster ships. Her rate of turn is alright, but she's not exactly agile like the South Dakota-class sisters. Her turning circle isn't terrible, though its certainly not great. Overall, her handling is best compared to Bismarck -- a ship that isn't lacking overall in comparable agility but not a ship anyone would dare say has "good" manoeuvrability. The reason Roma feels so agile is probably due to her gun traverse. At 6º per second, it's rare that you ever need to use your rudder to accelerate bringing your guns to bear onto a new target. It's impossible for this ship to out turn her turrets, so there's little strain on her handling to keep her weapons singing. The best trait about her here is her top speed. 30 knots, while unremarkable at high tiers, is the benchmark I want to see. Anything less is an obvious flaw. Roma has the flexibility to go where she's needed and she's fast enough to make pursuit and escape possible when required. This also allows her to make better use of her concealment to better position herself. Most important of all, Roma's manoeuvrability is sufficient to protect her vulnerable citadel while still maintaining a steady rate of fire with all nine of her guns. Evaluation: MEH What it would have needed to be GUD: Roma already sits on the cusp of being 'GUD', she would just need a little help. An extra knot of speed, getting her turning radius below 800m or increasing her rotation rate by another two tenths of a degree per second would each tip her over the edge to something quite remarkable. Fortunately, you can pull this off yourself with the use of a Sierra Mike signal. Rate of Turn There are several factors which affect how quickly a ship comes about. The most significant are the ship's forward momentum and the size of her turning radius. As a ship slows down, their turning radius changes, but not always for the better. To make things more complicated, different ships also preserve speed better in a turn. When it comes to changing your heading, maintain speed whenever possible. If you want a tighter turning circle, slow down to 3/4 engine power -- but be aware that your ship will not manoeuvre as quickly. Steering Gears Modification 2 reduces Roma's rudder shift time from 15.6s down to 12.5s. However, this does not appreciably affect her turning values. This upgrade can be seen as more of a placebo than a practical bonus. When attempting to measure the gains made, some of the results fell within the margin of error of my own reaction time -- meaning that a good night's sleep or a cup of tea had more effect on the timed rate of turn than whether or not Roma had this module installed. With torpedo and shell reaction times often being less than 8 to 10 seconds, having this module installed will not help you. You would be better served by having a cup of coffee. Thus, I strongly recommend installing Damage Control Modification 2 in your fourth upgrade slot instead. None of the values found on Roma were far from what was expected. Her measured turning radius was slightly higher than that found in port and she bled the usual 25% maximum speed with her rudder hard over. 360º Rotation Rate (Ship Maximums): 1/4 speed (7.3 knots): 1.0º/s rotation, ~1099m turning radius 1/2 speed (13.8 knots): 2.5º/s rotation, ~851m turning radius 3/4 speed (18.6 knots): 3.6º/s rotation, ~800m turning radius 4/4 speed (22.4 knots): 4.2º/s rotation, ~829m turning radius 90º Rotation Rate (Stock): 1/4 speed: 1.0º/s rotation for 90.7s 1/2 speed: 2.3º/s rotation for 39.0s 3/4 speed: 3.2º/s rotation for 28.5s 4/4 speed: 3.6/s rotation for 25.0s 90º Rotation Rate (Steering Gears Modification 2) 1/4 speed: 1.0/s rotation for 90.6s 1/2 speed: 2.4º/s rotation for 38.4s 3/4 speed: 3.3º/s rotation for 27.4s 4/4 speed: 3.7º/s rotation for 24.2s Roma sits upon the cusp of greatness where her agility is concerned, but she falls short. You're not likely to notice though -- you'll be too enamored with how well her turrets traverse. DurabilityHit Points: 65,400 Maximum Citadel Protection: 375mm + 40mm Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: 38% Let's start with the bad news: Roma wears a really short skirt. While I appreciate that she wants to show off her lines, her citadel is left exposed over the water's surface by a not-insignificant margin. The exact height of her citadel is easy to see: it's directly behind her 375mm armoured belt. Veterans of the American battleship line that played the ships before the citadels were lowered in early 2017 will remember well what this entails. Roma can and will suddenly explode in a horrendous space-kablooie when she's caught broadside. There's nothing you can do about it but [edited]. There's another piece of not-so-great news. Her A-Turret barbette also seems to be part of the citadel, comprising a rounded 210mm bulge to her transverse bulkhead. This gives shells that might have skipped over a flat surface another bite at the apple if they catch this rounded surface. It's just another little quibble to sour Roma's armour protection. Alright, with that out of the way, let's talk about the good stuff: Her main deck is 45mm thick. This is proof against 152mm HE spam. Hooray! She has a 130mm extended forward armoured belt. When she angles, can foil even 460mm shells. Rejoice! Her upper hull is 70mm thick. This is proof against HE from 420mm or smaller unless it's British BB or German BB & CA thrown. This will also provide you with some very comfortable bounces when you angle just right. Her torpedo damage reduction is pretty darned good, so to speak. At tier VIII, torpedo defenses are either amazaballs (Amagi, South Dakota sisters) or they suck moose balls (everyone else). Roma's in the good half of the dichotomy. Her deck armour profile is a bit of a mixed blessing when it comes to armour piercing bombs, however. In testing, American AP bombs just didn't seem to be able to stack damage quickly. Without heals, it took over 20 bomb hits to sink her from American planes. Graf Zeppelin's (admittedly still in testing) bombs weren't automatic world-enders, but she could reliably sink Roma with two squadrons. On the whole, if it weren't for Roma's citadel situation, she'd have a great armour profile. As it is, it's only okay. Roma face tanks like a boss, particularly at medium ranges (between 8km and 14km) but when things go wrong, she comes apart in a hurry. Roma's armour, including details of her citadel. Evaluation: MEH What it would have needed to be GUD: Lower her bloody citadel. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 90mm / 37mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.0km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 114 / 128.4 / 54.4 The graph on the left shows the raw AA values per aura range of the AA mounts of tier 8 Battleships. The graph on the right applies a formula {AA DPS x ( Range - 1.0km )} to calculate the overall effectiveness of the ship's AA power. This weights longer ranged weapons as being much more valuable as planes will linger within their effect longer. Weapons with less than a 2km range are only really effective if the enemy aircraft carrier parks planes on top of you. If there's one good thing you could say about Roma's anti-aircraft firepower, it would be that it's at least better than that found on Tirpitz. Roma's AA rating sits squarely in between the German premium and Amagi, and this isn't a good place to be. Worse, it's not like Roma's anti-aircraft guns are a straight up improvement over the performance of the German premium -- she just has more of them. Roma's large caliber, 90mm guns are hands down inferior to the 105s that Tirpitz uses. They have 500m less range and they do less DPS over all, which makes the effective AA defense worse were it not for Roma's 37mm autocannons and Tirpitz's near lack of medium caliber guns. It takes a rather heavy investment to get Roma's anti-aircraft firepower anywhere near effective in terms of range, and it's downright impossible to make it effective in terms of damage done. With Advanced Fire Training and AA Guns Modification 2, you can increase the reach fo her 90mm guns from 4.0km up to 5.76km but they'll never have the punch to make anything but a stock tier VI aircraft carrier balk. Taking a Float Plane Fighter can add a very helpful disruption effect to an incoming wave which can save your ship, but it's so short lived and difficult to rely upon. Roma doesn't have the agility to easily dodge air dropped torpedoes, nor does she have the armour profile to spare her the nightmare of being one-shot by German AP dive bombers. Roma, when isolated from allies, is easy prey for an enemy aircraft carrier and she must be played with this weakness in mind. Evaluation: GARBAGE What it would have needed to be MEH: Roma really needs more range. The 4.0km reach of her large caliber, dual purpose guns does her no favours. Alternatively, it would take a huge DPS boost to make her AA power competitive which is a much more significant change. None of Roma's AA mounts are especially durable. Even her dual purpose AA guns can only boast 800hp with her 37mm and 20mm guns having only 200. A few HE hits will strip her of most of her AA power. Vision Control Base Surface Detection Range: 14.94km Air Detection Range: 13.35km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 11.22km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 13.68km Main Battery Firing Range: 18.12km Detection Consumables: Spotter Aircraft / Float Plane Fighter Short of the famous and historical HMS Monarch, Roma is the stealthiest battleship within her matchmaking spread. What's perhaps more frightening is that she's stealthier than almost half the cruisers she faces, even when they're rigged for full concealment. Tier VI and VII cruisers are especially vulnerable with 11 out of 24 ships unable to hide from Roma and another 7 unable to hide if they don't have a full concealment build. When top tier, especially against inexperienced commanders, Roma becomes truly a monster. Without spotting aircraft or a destroyer screen, she can move about the battlefield at will, confident she can outfight anything that detects her. Let me stress this: Without aircraft or destroyers, Roma is quite capable of being the stealthiest ship on the playing field. Unlike the famous and historical HMS Monarch, Roma has the speed to better exploit this concealment. And it's here, with this combination of speed and concealment where Roma becomes a truly frightening vessel. Novice players take note: these are traits that expert players exploit to win matches. The longer a match goes on, the more powerful this advantage of speed and stealth becomes. It gives Roma time to heal, to flank, to secure objectives or escape. She can dictate engagement distances, abuse cover and surprise enemies. This is the game changer for this ship. This is what glosses over all of her other mediocre ratings and propels her towards excellence. Now this all said, this is a very difficult advantage to exploit properly and it can be outright negated by aircraft (especially given Roma's poor AA rating) and destroyers. Proper use of her aircraft consumable (with the skills to support it) will help her control vision and make lurking around islands less dangerous. But, it's knowing when to keep her guns singing and when it's best to hold your fire that really defines Roma's use and abuse of her concealment. Evaluation: GUD What it would have needed to be BEST : Monarch has a smaller surface detection range and similar consumable options. The alternative to making her sneakier than Monarch would have been to provide her with some detection consumable like Hydroacoustic Search or Surveillance Radar which is bloody unlikely. I think we can all be happy that Roma's concealment is as amazing as it is. Nursing the Twins For Roma, a survivability build is best after grabbing your concealment skills. Start with Priority Target unless you've seen the oracle and you already know the future. Then you can go for skills like Direction Center for Catapult Aircraft instead for your first choice. Next up, we want Adrenaline Rush to increase her sluggish rate of fire. After that, you have your choice of Basics of Survivability or Superintendent depending on how much you hate fire damage. Finally, grab Concealment Expert to level up Roma to her final form. For your next 9pts, I strongly recommend Fire Prevention, whichever tier 3 skill you skipped and your choice of Expert Marksman (cause why not?), Jack of All Trades or High Alert. Now get out there and murder your brother. Tier for tier, Giulio Cesare is the better of the two Italian Battleships. However, the Makoto Kobayashi: Roma camouflage combined with Roma's higher tier will make her the better potential earner. Final Evaluation Mouse's Summary: Concealment and comfort define this ship. I stress that Roma's high water citadel will be a deal breaker for some. As cool as Roma's secondaries and AA batteries look, they're pretty darned useless. Roma's scorecard looks a little better than my first evaluation once you peel back the layers and take a closer look. Her great concealment might functionally be the best within her Matchmaking spread thanks to her speed. Similarly, her agility is also reasonably good, just not quite enough to make her remarkable. This synergy between speed, gun handling and concealment has all the hallmarks of a competitive ship. Her gunnery and durability are the let downs, though. Her weapons are inconsistent -- prone to bouts of greatness and then some frustrating droughts of non-performance until you figure out her penetration. Knowing what ships you can and cannot handle at which ranges mitigates some of this lack, but only just. Contrarily, her secondaries, like her AA guns are garbage no matter what you do.. Then there's that citadel of hers -- that fly in the ointment that will preclude her from ever being the darling of the competitive scene. In Randoms, with proper positioning, it's not really a big deal, but when it lets you down, it lets you down hard. Roma is so much fun to drive it's hard to dismiss her out of hand, even despite these setbacks. My own experiences in Roma were decidedly mixed. It took me a while to figure her out. Once I accepted I was throwing around what amounted to a squishy, nine-gun Bismarck with no secondaries, things got a little better. To say my performance in her was inconsistent would be an understatement. The number of losses I suffered during the latter half of play testing wasn't fun, however this was broken up by some ridiculously high performing games. Boiled down, Roma is a medium-range brawler. Her gun accuracy and armour profile both excel if she can hold this range -- just on the cusp of her detection radius, and hammer the enemy over and over and over again. Ideally you want to sneak to a vantage where your opponents can't help but give up their side to either you or their allies. If they choose to face you, tank them and do the best you can to hurt them back -- it's not going to be easy with those 381mm guns. If they choose to face your allies, tear them a new one until they smarten up and fall back. The final question is if this is a role that's asked for in the current meta. She's not a brawler like Bismarck or Tirpitz, a DPM juggernaut like Amagi, and she doesn't werf the flammen like the famous, historical battleship Monarch. Roma encroaches upon the flanking meta espoused by the American battleships. She's certainly faster than North Carolina or the South Dakota sisters. She's also more stealthy. However, she lacks the AA power to afford her autonomy when enemy aircraft carriers are in play. -- not that they're out there that often. It's still difficult to call just based on that. Things change when you look at her tiering. Top tier, she's an absolute monster. She would easily hold my pick for one of the best battleships for clubbing lower tiered vessels and this in of itself should say something. That comfort and control pays dividends and her armour maximizes in these encounters where shell penetration may not be enough to seriously threaten Roma's raised citadel. She uptiers alright against tier IX ships, but like all tier VIIIs, she really struggles in tier X matches. If I could guarantee she would never see tier X games, I could slap an "OVERPOWERED" label on her and be done with it, but no such luck. As it is, I'm inclined to say Roma has earned her laurels. Would I Recommend? Some caveats must be exercised here. The Italian Regia Marina is solely comprised of premium ships at the moment. Between the battleships Roma and Giulio Cesare there are also the light cruisers Duca d'Aosta and the upcoming Duca degli Abruzzi. If you had to choose one and only one, Giulio Cesare is still the front runner performance wise, even at tier V. Roma does not displace her. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? We have no tier VIII scenarios (yet), but Roma's a decent ship to take against bots. Her AP shells struggle a little against cruisers at the point blank ranges which so often result. Her running costs are 35,438 credits including the 10% discount provided by her camouflage (this drops to 19,688 credits with Makoto Kobayashi: Roma camo) while you can make around 100k on a decent win. Skip those premium consumables. Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. She's a tier VIII premium, so economy wise, she'll do you just fine. The increased earnings will also make her a wonderful trainer. Note if you have the Makoto Kobayashi: Roma camouflage, her earning dividends just got that much better. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. I have to give her a firm pass here. Between her high water citadel, 381mm teething issues and poor AA power, she's not ideal. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. What are you, new? It's not only the first Littorio-class battleships it's Roma. Even as a port queen, she's gorgeous to look at. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Hells to the yeah. Roma doesn't always behave, but when she does... In Closing That about wraps it up for Roma -- arguably the most anticipated premium of 2017. Hey, stop looking at your calendar! She's here and she's not terrible; that's a win. I keep a list of premium ships that I enjoy playing; that I reach for whenever I just want to play World of Warships and unplug my brain from all of this analytical nonsense. These are ships that I play simply for the love of the game. I think it's high praise when a new premium ousts one of the old guard and muscles in on this list. Roma isn't there yet -- we're fighting, truth be told. She's got a long ways to go if she thinks she can earn her keep. I'm very happy with the balanced state of Roma. I'm very happy to have this review done. The next review coming up will be Musashi, the tier IX Japanese battleship that's causing all kinds of controversy. Roma and Musashi both came off of the content-embargo on the same date, but I had no warning about the latter. You can expect this next review in about a week's time with an undue level of snark laced throughout. A very special thank you to Lert for his continued editing efforts and to my patrons on Patreon. With as much time and energy I devote to these reviews, I cannot afford to do it alone anymore. Your continued support means the world to me and allows me to keep my head down and working hard with less worry. Thank you for reading and for all of your feedback, criticism and fun gifs too! My current ten favourite ships. Top Row: Fujin, Atlanta, De Grasse, Prinz Eugen, Atago. Bottom Row: Scharnhorst, Nelson, Harekaze, König Albert, Warspite. Will Roma or Musashi earn a spot? Tune in next week! iChase put together a wonderful little history piece for those who want more Roma in your Roma review!
  20. The original and best. Quick Summary: A Bismarck-class battleship that trades away Hydroacoustic Search and AA-power for deck mounted torpedoes. Cost: 12,500 doubloons Patch & Date Written: 0.6.4 to 0.6.12, April 19th, 2017 to October 27th, 2017 Closest in-Game Contemporary Bismarck, Tier 8 German Battleship Degree of Similarity: Clone / Sister-Ship / Related Class / Similar Role / Unique The differences between Bismarck and Tirpitz are distinct. While they share the same main and secondary gun battery performance, Tirpitz has access to two quad-torpedo launchers while Bismarck has Hydroacoustic Search. Bismarck has a tremendous advantage in AA power over her sister ship, while also enjoying marginal improvements in armour protection, speed, agility and aerial concealment. Finally, the position of two of their 105mm dual purpose secondaries differs slightly, with Tirpitz having better firing arcs. PROs: Excellent armour protection and nigh invulnerable to citadel hits from AP shells. Main battery has a fast, 26s reload and good gun handling characteristics with a traverse rate of 5º per second. High penetration HE shells, capable of besting 95mm of armour with a 34% fire chance per shell. Heavy secondary gun battery complement with excellent 7.5km base range and improved, 37mm penetration on her 150mm guns. Powerful torpedo armament, especially for a battleship. Fast at 30.5 knots. Awesome selection of premium camouflages for long-time veterans. CONs: Poor anti-torpedo defense. Inaccurate main battery guns with low DPM, poor HE shell damage and poor fire angles. 105mm secondaries cannot damage the hulls of tier VIII+ destroyers. Short 6km range on her torpedoes. Torpedo tubes are vulnerable and get disabled often. Weak AA power for a tier 8 Battleship and easily one-shot by AP Bomb armed carriers. Very large turning circle of 850m. Lacks Hydroacoustic Search found on high tier German Battleships It's been a long time since I last looked at Tirpitz. Heck, I've been working on this review for six months now. When patch 0.6.4 dropped and Tirpitz received a buff to its secondary gun range, I thought the timing was perfect to sit down and look at her again, especially as she seemed to be encroaching upon Bismarck's supremacy. Well, things got busy and the meta surrounding German Battleships took a huge shift. Enterprise's AP bombs were one such jolt. The Royal Navy Battleships shook things up again and it forced me to review what I had so far evaluated and elect to wait to see if things shifted further. Things appear stable now. The Hallowe'en 2017 event has introduced another (so awesome looking) camouflage pattern to Tirpitz, so I thought it best to get this one off my list while the getting was good. So here we go -- six months late but hopefully not a dollar short. My big concern is that the buffs from 0.6.4 have largely made Bismarck obsolete. Bismarck can boast a few advantages that she trades in exchange for Tirpitz's torpedoes -- the question is "did Wargaming go too far when they improved Tirpitz's secondaries?" Well, let's take a look. Lert will join me with his final thoughts on this venerable premium. The three camouflage patterns for Tirpitz. These have become available for players who have owned her for a long time and has greatly increased her value. The Tarnanstrich camouflage greatly increases the amount of free-experience Tirpitz can earn while Magnu-S provides a small (about 4,000) credit boost. Note that the Magnu-S Hallowe'en camouflage can only be seen if a player enables the filters in port. Options Tirpitz shows her age when it comes to her options. First, she does not have access to Hydroacoustic Search as other tier 8+ German Battleships do. Second, she has access to three different premium camouflages. Initially, she comes with the standard Type 10 camouflage. The second camouflage came grace of the Hunt the Graf Spee campaign over Christmas 2016 and into New Year's 2017. It has not been made available since. The third camouflage pattern became available Hallowe'en of 2017 and it's likely that this too will become a rare accessory. It remains to be seen if Wargaming will offer these options again in future events. Her consumables are standard, with her Damage Control Party having a 15s active period and a 120s/80s reset timer. Consumables: Damage Control Party Repair Party Spotter Aircraft or Float Plane Fighter Module Upgrades: Five slots, standard battleship options Premium Camouflage: There have been three Tirpitz camouflage types. When purchased, you receive the Tier 6+ Standard (Type 10). This provides 50% bonus experience gains, 3% reduction in surface detection and 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. Veterans with Tirpitz may have access to Tarnanstrich - Tirpitz. This is the equivalent of the Type 11 camouflage found on Anshan. It provides 100% bonus free experience in addition to the Type 10 camouflage buffs. For Hallowe'en of 2017, the camouflage Magnu-S - Tirpitz became available. This provides the same bonuses as the Type 10 above but includes a 10% reduction to repair costs. (A special thanks to SoliDeoGloria for their help with this). These bonuses are identical to the premium camouflage you can purchase for Bismarck for 4,000 doubloons. Remember to equip as many premium consumables as you can readily afford. In order of priority these should be Damage Control Party, then Repair Party and finally her Spotter Aircraft or Float Plane Fighter. Of the two options provided, the Spotter Aircraft is (generally) more useful. This not only provides additional range (which is of limited use), but it also allows you to better triangulate the necessary range needed to bulls-eye ships hiding in smoke screens by homing in on the origin of their tracers. Her Float Plane Fighter isn't an awful choice, however, and with the right skill build, can be very useful in spotting approaching torpedoes and even detecting enemy destroyers. For upgrades, take the following: In your first slot, Main Armaments Modification 1 is essential. Your torpedo tubes will get knocked out often and your guns are going to take a lot of abuse too. In your second slot, you have a choice. Aiming Systems Modification 1 is optimal. This increases the performance of your main battery, but it comes at a cost -- the maximum range and accuracy of your secondary gun systems. If you want to use a full secondary build, take Secondary Guns Modification 2. In your third slot, take Damage Control System Modification 1. In your fourth slot, you have a choice. Damage Control System Modification 2 is optimal. Fire damage is more prevalent than ever. This module will save you 1,871hp per fire that's allowed to burn itself out (2.7% of your HP). Alternatively, you can take Steering Gears Modification 2 to assist with agility, but on its own, it will not improve manoeuvrability much without help. And finally, in your final slot, take Concealment Modification 1. Versus Bismarck There are a few difference between the two sister ships. Bismarck gets access to the Hydroacoustic Search consumable. Veterans of Bismarck may also have access to up to four different permanent camouflage patterns, though their bonuses are all identical to the permanent camouflage Bismarck can purchase. Firepower Primary Battery: Eight 380m rifles in 4x2 turrets in an A-B-X-Y superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Sixteen 105mm rifles in 8x2 turrets, twelve 150mm rifles in 6x2 turrets. Torpedoes: Eight tubes in 2x4 launchers, one off each side behind the funnel. Torpedoes Tirpitz's torpedoes help make her the Best Brawling Battleship in World of Warships. This is a title she's held since her introduction in September of 2015 and she hasn't surrendered it to any contenders since. Tirpitz was the first battleship in World of Warships to be given a torpedo armament and it caused a lot of fuss back in the day. Since then, Mutsu, Kii and the Scharnhorst sisters have joined her, but this hasn't diminished her prestige. Tirpitz's torpedo armament is the heaviest among battleships. However, when the stats of her torpedoes are examined on paper, they seem hardly inspiring. With a range of a mere 6km and a hitting power that seems more akin to weapons found on tier V or VI vessels, they can appear deceptively lackluster. Tirpitz's torpedoes are a brawling weapon and in this regard, they can be viewed as the equivalent of dealing a citadel penetration with her main battery per individual torpedo strike. Being able to deliver up to four of these against any target (regardless of angle) is an enormous strength and makes Tirpitz an exceedingly dangerous opponent in close quarters. Even single hits can be near catastrophic with the threat of flooding stacking upon the fires lit by her secondaries. Their lack of range is their biggest weakness. It's so short that it's a rare game that a well played Tirpitz gets to use them at all. And I do stress this "well played" part. Pushing to brawling ranges too early will only isolate Tirpitz from her support and invites to get her focused down by enemy vessels. Many a novice Tirpitz player has brazenly charged ahead to try and make use of this trump card, only to frustrate themselves with getting sent back to port for their folly. There's a reason this ship has earned the moniker "Derpitz" -- this mistake is commonplace. Don't be one of those chowderheads that helps propagate this stereotype. Another flaw of Tirpitz's torpedo launchers is their fragility. They get damaged often -- disabled both temporarily and permanently. This stems from three inherent problems with her torpedo launchers. Their hit point total. Their lack of armour protection. The amount of fire Tirpitz takes. Tirpitz's torpedo launchers have a standard 1,200 hit points -- a value common to all torpedo launchers, as is their 25% chance of being temporarily disabled per damaging hit received. They are effectively unarmoured, making them exceedingly vulnerable to high explosive shells. Taking Main Armaments Modification 1 increases their hit points to 1,800 and reduces the chance of being critically damaged down to 20% per hit, which is better, but not great. It's only by stacking the captain skill, Preventative Maintenance, that you can get their critical hit chance down to a more manageable 14% per hit taken, but this won't save them from total destruction.The volume of fire Tirpitz takes in a typical match all but guarantees your torpedoes will be temporarily disabled at least once. It's heartbreaking to lose one of these mounts permanently. There are few things worse than finally securing a chance to use them in close quarters only to find them missing. The prevalence of Royal Navy battleship high explosive fire has only increased the likelihood of Tirpitz losing her torpedoes. If you find yourself coming under fire from a British battleship, you're very likely to have your torpedoes permanently stripped after receiving a volley or three. Provided Tirpitz can survive getting into a close quarters engagement (and with her torpedo armament intact), her torpedoes give her an excellent chance of clinching the win in any brawl, even against tier X battleships. Tirpitz's main battery penetration values courtesy of World of Warships Armada. Secondaries One of the most significant changes that came to Tirpitz has been the improvement of her secondary gun battery. Tirpitz now boasts one of the most fearsome secondary gun complements in the game, with phenomenal reach and volume of fire. No other ships in the game currently put out the same wall of fire as German Battleships can. The buff Tirpitz received increased her secondary gun battery range from 4.5km when she was initially released up to Bismarck's own 7.5km reach. Fully specialized, Tirpitz's guns may reach out to a range of 11.3km between modules, skills and consumables. This is insane. Like, seriously -- I get that Wargaming was trying to be consistent, but holy meatballs on a six inch sub, did she really need this buff!? The disruption effect of these secondaries is considerable -- it's like an aura of doom that gradually sucks the life out of enemy ships that stray too close to the German behemoth. Tirpitz is veritably surrounded by a dark cloud of death and destruction. The closer enemies get, the more deadly the storm of shell and fire, leaving opponent choking for air and desperate to get away. The better of the two guns are her twelve 150mm guns are mounted between six turrets. Four enjoy favourable forward firing angles. These guns have a slower rate of fire of eight rounds per minute stock (this can be increased to 9.36rpm between Basic Fire Training and the Mike Yankee Soxisix signal and bumped up further with Adrenaline Rush). However, they have a decent base fire chance of 8% per shell. More impressively, they have improved penetration values of 37mm (as opposed to 25mm as would be expected), allowing them to damage the extremities of any warship they should encounter. This makes it easy for Tirpitz to stack damage even against other high tier battleships at medium to close range encounters. Her sixteen 105mm guns form the backbone of her secondary armament and they have more mixed performance. They have an excellent rate of fire, being able to spit out a fearsome 17.91rpm per gun (increasing up to 20.95rpm with the skills and consumable mentioned before). Their fire chance is only modest at 5% but when coupled with their rate of fire, the chance to set blazes is better (pound for pound) than Tirpitz's 150mm guns provided you can land the hits. However, unlike the 150mm guns, Tirpitz's 105mm guns do not enjoy increased penetration values. This leaves them with a paltry 18mm of penetration which is utterly insufficient to damage the hulls of tier VIII+ destroyers. Short of landing shells upon a target vessel's superstructure in high tier matches, her 105mm secondaries are not going to be stacking direct damage. The solution may seem to be to reach for the skill Inertial Fuse for HE Shells to correct this, but this damages the fire chance of all of Tirpitz's weapon systems. Still, this would provide Tirpitz with the ability to ravage all destroyers and British cruisers within her matchmaking spread. One of the drawbacks of German HE shells, to which her secondaries are not immune, is their low damage per hit. Tirpitz will do no more than 561 damage per 150mm hit and a mere 396 damage at best per 105mm hit (compare this to the 726 damage from Warspite's 152mm HE and the 495 damage from her 102mm HE). It takes a long time for Tirpitz to stack damage with her secondaries. This damage will add up, but don't expect it to win matches by themselves. Like Tirpitz's torpedoes, rushing blindly forward to make use of these weapons will only get you killed. Support your team. Don't let yourself become isolated just because you want to subject your opponents to your poo-gas stink cloud of shelly-flamey doom. Overall, Tirpitz's secondaries are a powerful tool. They can provide an alarming level of supporting fire that can surprise and intimidate your opponents. However, they are not a wunderwaffe -- they will not win matches by themselves. It takes a significant investment to make them truly formidable, often at the cost of survival skills. Used correctly, her secondaries can help tip the balance in engagements and even in matches, but they are a support-weapon, not a primary weapon. Main Battery So, Tirpitz has great secondaries and powerful torpedoes -- but what about her main battery guns? I'm very tempted to say, 'What ABOUT her guns?' and leave it at that (what are you, greedy?), but they are worth examining. Tirpitz shares the same guns as Gneisenau and Bismarck. These are high velocity 380mm rifles that compete well with comparable 15" AP rifles found on any of the Royal Navy battleships. They have high shell velocity, and decent penetration power. They aren't without their problems, however. It may sound funny to say after reviewing her heavy torpedo and secondary batteries, but Tirpitz is under-armed. Let's start with her penetration power. While Tirpitz does enjoy better penetration than Monarch, all this means is that she doesn't have the worst penetration at tier VIII. The performance of her AP shells is best considered "sufficient" and no more than that. She sits well behind Kii and Amagi and even further behind Alabama, Massachussetts and North Carolina. Her HE shells do have better penetration than normal, sharing Monarch's ability to best 95mm of armour. However, unlike the British, German HE damage is anemic. In fact, the damage off both her AP shells and HE shells isn't great for her tier. They have decent fire chances, but you'd be a fool to reach for HE in this ship with any regularity. Accuracy wise, the news isn't good. Tirpitz has the least accurate guns at her tier. They're hit with a one-two punch of German battleship dispersion levels (which are the worst in the game) and 1.8 sigma. This is further compounded by the wide spacing of her guns not only on the ship (Tirpitz is enormous) but within the turrets themselves. The last piece of the puzzle is that players so often make things worse by not installing Aiming Systems Modification 1 in order to instead boost their aforementioned secondaries. Expect some serious misbehaving where gunnery is concerned. Her biggest weakness, however, is that Tirpitz has only eight 380mm guns. Though she boasts a faster reload time, this really hurts her outgoing damage potential. This is compounded when she's forced to angle against long range fire. Her guns all suffer from a 290º fire angle which isn't terrible, but it's not great either (we'd want 300º fire angles for 'great'). While Tirpitz is largely immune to citadel hits, she's not immune to taking massive 20,000 spikes of damage when an enemy battleship catches too much of her side. This disparity in guns really hurts in bow-tanking situations. The British and American battleships can trade fire back with six guns, you're often only left with four. So Tirpitz's main battery is meh. Sure, it handles great. Sure, she's got a good rate of fire and decent range. Her AP shells are good enough, but she doesn't put enough shells downrange to compete with the other big ships at her tier (other than her sister). It's a good thing she's got her secondaries and torpedoes. But, don't let all of this negativity lull you cruiser and battleship-drivers into complacency. Tirpitz is still a battleship and she's still throwing 6.4 tonnes of death at you every twenty-six seconds. If only a third of that hits you, you're still going to have what the Chieftain describes as "a significant emotional event". Her guns are good enough. However, her overall firepower is phenomenal. Summary: Her main battery is weak. Her AP performance is okay but still miles behind the Japanese and American battleships. If that weren't enough, the gun dispersion will troll you often. This isn't a long range sniper by any stretch. Her secondaries are awesome, though they're not the be-all-end-all murder-machines they appear to be. You'll rarely get to use her torpedoes, but when you do, they will be game changers Versus Bismarck Tirpitz is better armed than Bismarck, having access to deck mounted torpedoes while Bismarck does not. In addition, Tirpitz has slightly better forward fire angles on two of her 105mm secondaries which are placed further out from the hull. The two sisters are otherwise identical here. Manoeuvrability Top Speed: 30.5 knotsTurning Radius: 850mRudder Shift: 16.0s Maximum Rotation Rate: 4.11º/s Tirpitz has speed to spare. She's not the fastest battleship at her tier (Bismarck holds that honour by a half knot), but she's pretty damn quick. A lot of apologies can be made for a ship with long legs. It facilitates much. It provides her with flexibility. It allows you to get out of (and into) trouble. It also can partially mitigate a bad turning radius as she'll come about faster than her turning circle might otherwise indicate. As far as her handling goes, it's not great. She has a long rudder shift time and an enormous turning circle. The only spot of good news is that she can throw the ship about at a respectable 4.1º/s despite these shortcomings. Adding Steering Gears Modification 2 can reduce her rudder shift time down to 12.8 seconds but this doesn't help her rate of turn significantly. In terms of manoeuvrability, Tirpitz will never be anything but average for a large battleship. She has more power than agility. Versus Bismarck Bismarck is half a knot faster than Tirpitz in a straight line. She's also slightly faster in a turn, keeping a speed of 23.4 knots when her rudder is hard over while Tirpitz lags behind at 23.0 knots. This increases Bismarck's rate of rotation to 4.2º/s. If there's one thing Tirpitz doesn't want for, it's speed. She's able to sprint at over 30 knots -- more than enough to keep up with the rest of the fleet and traverse the enormous high tier maps with haste. DurabilityHit Points: 69,300Maximum Protection: 315mm belt + 120mm turtleback + 45mm citadel wall Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: 22% There's a lot to talk about here and not all of it good. There has been a significant meta shift for Tirpitz over the summer of 2017. Let's start with the really bad stuff. First of all, Tirpitz has awful torpedo protection for a high tier ship. The values at tier VIII vary from 19% up to 49% and Tirpitz definitely sits in the lower half. At least she's not the worst. Torpedoes will hit her for most of their listed damage and you can expect to take flooding criticals from most hits. She's a big target and she doesn't dodge well, so torpedoes (especially the air dropped kind) love you. Moving on... Tirpitz is horribly vulnerable to both American and German AP bombs dropped by Dive Bombers. Ironically in this game, the more armour you have on your decks, the more dangerous AP dive bombers become. Suffice to say, Tirpitz is "well protected" across her decks and the roof of her citadel. In practice this means she has enough armour to arm the fuses of any AP bombs that strike her and guarantee they won't overpenetrate. She can and will take multiple citadel hits from armour piercing bombs and it is not uncommon for her to be deleted outright from an attack wave of dive bombers from Enterprise or Graf Zeppelin, even from full health. Anytime Tirpitz faces Enterprise or Graf Zeppelin (or any future CV with AP bombs), take heed. These are your nemesis. Citadel hits are thankfully rare otherwise. While her excellent armour scheme works at cross-purposes with itself against AP bombs, it functions as designed against shell strikes. The armour design is very straight forward with a 315mm thick strip of external belt armour, an interior 45mm thick citadel wall and, between them, a 120mm angled plate to help divert or deflect incoming shells. Were these a simple sandwich of vertical plates, this would combine to a total thickness of 480mm -- proof enough against the penetration power of even the vaunted USN 406mm/45s at a range of 15km but the angle of the turtleback makes this even thicker. In practice, her opponents cannot land citadel hits against her at medium to close ranges. It's only from far out shots, with high penetration shells that she need worry and even then it's a rarity. Her short range protection gets even more impressive under close inspection. Not only can she prevent citadel penetrations, but the extended 60mm bow armour can allow her to ricochet even Yamato's 460mm AP shells aimed at her waterline (this won't hold up if she aims a little higher, though). A properly angled Tirpitz can survive a ridiculous amount of AP-shell punishment thrown at her. It doesn't hurt that Tirpitz has the highest hit point total at her tier which translates to a Repair Party consumable that heals a generous 9,702hp per charge. With much of the ship being covered by a minimum of 60mm of armour, Tirpitz enjoys significant protection against HE throwing vessels. Her amidship hull is all but immune to damage saturation from destroyer and cruiser thrown-HE shells (the notable exception being Graf Spee). However, this all falls apart when the Royal Navy battleships show up to ruin the fun. This has presented a rather pronounced shift in Tirpitz's meta. Where before the ship could build for secondary gun fire, manoeuvrability and concealment, commanders are now forced to seriously consider stocking up on survivability skills instead to mitigate fire damage. There is no solid protection against the Royal Navy high explosive shells for Tirpitz, short of finding cover or sinking the offending party. Tirpitz's Damage Control Party is often overtaxed in such encounters and skills like Fire Prevention, Basics of Survivability and High Alert as well as upgrades like Damage Control Modification 2 have increased significantly in value. The prevalence of Royal Navy Battleships is beginning to ebb somewhat, but survivability builds are still very much worth considering. The shift in meta has hurt Tirpitz's survivability in a few short months. She's still a very tough ship, but the good grades she previously earned have been marred with new developments. While she has always had to fear airstrikes, AP bombs present a new and very immediate threat to which she has no answer but to hope allies protect her. The prevalence of high explosive shells being thrown everywhere has made her great armour scheme less valuable. At least the RAF doesn't get to dump Tallboy bombs on you. There are more answers to counter Tirpitz than before. This doesn't make her durability rating poor. She's just not the be-all-end-all that she once was in this regard. Versus Bismarck Tirpitz outweighs Bismarck and enjoys a 100hp advantage over her sister ship. Bismarck has a thicker armoured belt, though, which reaches 320mm. This 5mm advantage also extends to her underwater belt protection which is 245mm versus 240mm on Tirpitz. Otherwise, the two sisters are very close in this regard. Broken in half by sustained Battleship and Cruiser fire, this cross section (though tragic) gives a beautiful interior view of the compartmentalization and different armour layers which makes the Tirpitz so tough to citadel. Concealment & Camouflage Base Surface Detection Range: 16.38km Air Detection Range: 14.79 km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 12.30km Surface Detection when Firing in Smoke: 15.05km Main Battery Range: 21.45km Surface Detection within Tier: 6th out of 9, behind Alabama & Alabama ST. Surface Detection within Matchmaking: 15th out of 33 The Bismarck-sisters used to be considered reasonably stealthy for a tier VIII battleship. The introduction of Royal Navy Monarch changed this definition, however, with a 1.8km advantage over the German leviathans. Still, Tirpitz's surface detection isn't terrible, it's just nothing to get excited about anymore. Still, it's pretty hilarious sneaking upon tier VII cruisers and magically appearing in front of them like a total creeper. Versus Bismarck The two sister ships have the exact same surface detection range. This extends to their detection range when firing their guns in smoke. Bismarck is marginally more stealthy overall, though, with an aerial detection range of 14.67km. This is really too close to matter very much, though, especially at the speeds aircraft fly. Anti-Aircraft DefenseAA Battery Calibers: 105mm / 37mm / 20mmAA Umbrella Ranges: 4.5km / 3.5km / 2.0kmAA DPS per Aura: 134 / 21 / 84 Float Plane Fighter DPS: 60 Tirpitz has the lowest AA power among Battleships of her tier. Not only does she have less overall average damage per second, but her large caliber guns are shorter ranged than those found on Amagi, Kii, North Carolina or Alabama. This puts a big ol' target overtop of Tirpitz for any enemy carrier looking to hoover up some big damage numbers. However, Tirpitz is not without redeeming qualities. The majority of her anti-aircraft strength is found within her dual purpose 105mm batteries and this provides a comparable long-range punch to the American Battleships and gives Tirpitz a bit of a saving grace. Properly specialized with anti-aircraft skills, her AA defense can be brought up to a respectable level with Basic and Advanced Fire Training and the inclusion of Manual Fire Control for AA Guns. This is a heavy investment to bring Tirpitz up from a ready victim of aircraft to make her a less appealing target, though. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that an enemy aircraft will recognize or appreciate the difference. The stakes have only gotten higher for Tirpitz with the advent of armour piercing bombs. The proliferation of these weapons has made playing German Battleships more challenging. When one of these carriers is on the enemy team list, it's imperative (more so!) that Tirpitz hug the AA umbrella of friendly vessels judiciously, preferably with a cruiser armed with Defensive Fire to scatter the bomb drop. Even a 5.0km gap between vessels can spell the end, allowing for opportunistic strikes to end the German juggernaut in ridiculously short order. If I didn't impress it upon you earlier, I will say it again: ships like Enterprise and Graf Zeppelin are fully capable of destroying a full health Tirpitz with a single sortie of their bomber complement and there's no amount of manoeuvre that will save you. You do not have the AA power to fend off these attacks and you're one of the few targets they can do this to. You are a hunted ship from the moment the game begins, so seek the cover of your allies at all times. Yeah. Tirpitz's AA power is pretty bad. This is the reason every single aircraft will divert onto you if they see you're unsupported. Versus Bismarck Here's where the big difference really counts. Bismarck doesn't have especially good anti-aircraft firepower, but it's a damn sight better than Tirpitz. This can be enough to make Bismarck look like a less inviting target if a carrier needs to choose between them, which is really all that matters when push comes to shove. How to Made in German Insert mustachioed crazy-person picture here There are two primary builds for Tirpitz -- survivability and a manual-secondary build. You could consider this the difference between specializing for defense versus specializing for offense. For the Survivability Build your first ten skill points should be the following: Start with Priority Target. Take Adrenaline Rush for your next skill. If you're going to be taking damage, you may as well capitalize upon it. Next grab Superintendent for the extra heal. Cap it off with Fire Prevention to reduce the chance of being set ablaze and the number of fires that can be burning at one time. For your next nine points, spend them on Concealment Expert, Basics of Survivability and Expert Marksman. You have a little flexibility with this build. You can take High Alert as your last skill if you struggle on managing your Damage Control Party. This build is ideally backed with flags like India Delta (+20% Repair Party healing), India Yankee (-20% to Fire duration) and November Foxtrot (-5% to consumable reload time). For the Secondary Build, your first ten skill points looks like this: Begin with Priority Target. Take Adrenaline Rush for your next skill. Improve that secondary reload time! Up next is Basic Fire Training to increase their rate of fire further still. This has the added bonus of giving your AA power a little more teeth. Take Advanced Fire Training as your next skill to throw that range out to your maximum reach. For your next nine points, Manual Fire Control for Secondary Armament should be your first priority. After that, it's up to you which skills to choose. The highest value skills for Tirpitz are (in no particular order), Fire Prevention, Expert Marksman, Concealment Expert, Vigilance, and Superintendent. Special mention deserves to be placed towards Manual Fire Control for AA Guns. You can try and put it in there to give Tirpitz's AA power a little more teeth. Her dual purpose 105mm guns do put out an excellent bit of firepower (albeit at 4.5km range). This will make her a thorny prospect for some of the lower tier carriers, but it will not save you when something of equal tier or higher decides it wants your hit points. Worse, even with this upgrade, it's unlikely to dissuade enemy CVs from trying their luck anyway and you're not going to wipe out the attack craft wave so you will still end up taking damage. Still, you can at least make attacks on your vulnerable BB more costly for the carriers, but don't kid yourself in thinking this will be a tremendous help. I never thought I would say this but air dropped torpedoes aren't Tirpitz's most pressing concern these days. Overall Impressions Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult If ever Tirpitz could have been called a premium battleship for beginners, that time has long passed. There are more threats to manage now and the use of consumables and positioning is of ever more importance. Granted, she is German and that does provide some training wheels for the novice, but she's not a simple ship to use... if she ever was. Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Knowing every trick in the book will take you far with Tirpitz. She rewards angling, proper ammunition choices, abusing concealment, micromanaging consumables and min-maxing commander skills. However, she has no answer for aircraft from same tier or higher carriers (even Kaga and Saipan are considerable threats). Similarly, torpedo armed destroyers will dominate you. In this regard, no amount of skill will allow you to carry further beyond bringing a division mate to be your permanent flak battery and sonar buoy. The Lertbox Is she worth your money? The venerable Tirpitz. Is she still relevant? There is no denying that meta shifts and power creep have not been kind to her. Despite recent-ish buffs to her secondary range she still struggles around the middle of the pack in winrate and damage per game. I still have a soft spot for her though and believe she still has a place in this game. She's still the Queen of the Brawl with a very nasty poison dagger and destroyers should still fear her secondary battery. Where she falls apart though is in long range gunnery. Unfortunately with the introduction of the British BB line this is where the meta has been shifting; raining literal fire from afar. With only eight 15" barrels with mediocre accuracy she can't compete in a pure burning contest at long range. Other than that though, I believe Tirpitz still has a place in this game. She still excels in the brawl, she's still tough as nails. Even though she's not the queen of the tier 8 battleships anymore, she's still comfortable to drive. Mouse's Summary: Tirpitz is still the brawling heavyweight champion in the game. Her main battery guns wouldn't be terrible if they were more accurate or if she had more of them. Alas she doesn't. She's not incapable of doing large amounts of damage -- she just has to work at it more if you're only using her main battery guns. Once you supplement them with her secondaries and torpedoes, the sky's the limit. The only problem there is that opportunities to use the latter two weapon systems to their full effect aren't guaranteed and you run the risk of getting yourself wrecked if you try and do so before it's time. She's horribly vulnerable against aircraft and AP armed Dive Bombers make her wet herself and not in the sexy way. While it's arguably more intelligent to rig her for survivability, it's more fun to build her to use secondaries. I am glad I didn't finish this review when I started back in the Spring of 2017. I had originally wanted to talk about her after patch 0.6.0 -- to bring her up to date with the Captain skill change. However, it was when I received word that Tirpitz would be getting the same secondary gun range as Bismarck in patch 0.6.4 that pushed Tirpitz closer towards the top of my priority pile. 'What the heck is the point of Bismarck, then!?' I said to myself, groaning as yet another premium ship became arguably more powerful than her tech-tree counterpart. But I got busy -- first with Kaga, then Hood, then every other premium WG released over the summer. Tirpitz, and a hot-headed grump-fest about how she was superior to Bismarck, sat by the wayside. Then Enterprise showed up. Say what you will about this American carrier in World of Warships -- it announced a change in the meta that would be directed towards reigning in the dominance of battleships and the German battleships specifically. Tirpitz suffered especially with her poor AA rating. Wargaming followed this up by introducing Graf Zeppelin and the Royal Navy battleship line which seemed tailor made to neuter the German battleship strengths.. What made Tirpitz and Bismarck oh-so butt-kickingly powerful was punched in the throat. Their armour either mattered-for-not or it worked actively against them. So, powerful as Tirpitz is, she now faces one hard counter and a whole battleship line of soft counters. The meta has really shaken up around this premium battleship. Granted, she doesn't face this every game -- or even in most of her games. This has attacked some of the comfort level that used to exist when playing Tirpitz. In some games she can still be powerfully dominant. At other times, she's cowering on the second line until the bad airplanes and fire breathing dragons are properly neutralized. Now, I personally love this ship. It was one of the model kits that my father and I built together when I was little. Seeing her in World of Warships always touches on that small element of nostalgia for me. These rose tinted glasses are very dangerous to be wearing when trying to conduct an objective review. If I seem excessively negative about Tirpitz in this review, understand that I'm making sure I underline and stress her flaws. Tirpitz is still a great and powerful premium ship. Age may have tarnished her luster somewhat, but the buffs in 0.6.4 ensured she's able to stay not only relevant but highly competitive in the marketplace, even with AP Bombs and HE shells flying every which way. Tirpitz didn't sink the Bismarck when she received her improvements in 0.6.4, but she supplements her sister ship nicely. Any player that owns this ship should feel confident that she's still got it where it counts. Versus Bismarck Tirpitz does not make Bismarck redundant. The major difference between the two ships is the swap of AA Power and Hydroacoustic Search to equip yourself with a set of deck mounted torpedoes. That's a pretty serious quality-of-life changes for the sake of being able to shove fish up someone's nose. While it's wonderful for Tirpitz to be able to pull this off and it can be absolutely game changing when it happens, it's a rare occurence. AA power, on the other hand, is put to use far more often. So too can Bismarck's Hydrouacoustic Search any time she's being pursued by torpedo-armed destroyers. The buffs Tirpitz received didn't make her replace Bismarck -- she supplements her sister ship as any good premium sister-ship should, with her own fun strengths and weaknesses. Though things were looking up in patch 0.6.4, it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows for Tirpitz since. Would I Recommend? Tirpitz used to be an easy recommendation across all categories. For PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Lert: Yeah. She still puts out a lot of damage at brawling range and she can still bully bots. She'll be a solid and steady earner. Mouse: Yes. Tirpitz is probably the ultimate Co-Op premium battleship so I cannot recommend her enough here.. Big guns, big secondary range and torpedoes? Combine that with speed and good armour -- those poor little bots don't stand a chance. You can forgo all pretense of subtlety and simply charge in, confident that you have the close-range damage to sink at least a pair of ships before going down. Earning 500 base experience in Co-Op is a breeze. This sort of confidence will no doubt spill over into Scenarios should they become available at her tier. Tripitz has a 39,375 credit repair cost with ammunition usually weighing and around the 7,500 to 15,000 credits to resupply. Thus, even a modest game will be self sustaining (especially with a premium account). You may have to forgo premium consumables if you have a stock account though. For Random Battle Grinding: This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Lert: She'll still pull in the credits and the close quarters expert badges and she'll still train your german captains in comfort. She gets a recommendation of Yes here. Mouse: Yes. Though Tirpitz is harder to recommend as a Random Battle vessel, I would still say she's a good purchase overall. She no longer feels like the dominating presence she was before Enterprise and the Royal Navy battleships joined the game. Moreover, on the North American server at least, she is facing tier X battles more and more often, but this is a problem inherent to all tier VIII premiums at the moment. For Competitive Gaming: Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. Lert: No. There are other alternatives that better fit the meta. Mouse: No. Tirpitz is not the best choice for Ranked Battles. Her gunnery is too unreliable and her lack of anti-aircraft firepower can be a liability depending upon team composition. If this is your primary reason for wanting a premium ship, I would give her a pass here. She can compete, but there are better and more versatile choices. For Collectors: If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Lert: It's Tirpitz, the ship that scared the pants off of wartime Britain without actually doing anything other than sipping martinis and swatting at RAF flies in a fjord. Plus, she's one of the most beautiful ships in the game. Very yes. Mouse: Yes. Tirpitz's history is less glamorous than her sister ship and full of what ifs, but she certainly gets the imagination going. Plus, Wargaming can't seem to stop making cool premium camouflages for her. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Lert: Brawling is fun. Ships that are comfortable to drive are fun. A strong yes here. Mouse: Very yes. Tirpitz is the sort of ship where those memorable moments keep rolling in. What's the Final Verdict? How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Good - Overpowered?
  21. I thought of a experiment of the other two Iowa Class battleships that aren't in the game: USS New Jersey *not serious proposal* USS New Jersey will be vietnam era
  22. The following is a review of Massachusetts, a ship kindly provided to me by Wargaming. This is the release version of the vessel and these stats are current as of June 20th, 2018. Over a year in development. Thanks 'bama. Quick Summary: A South Dakota-class battleship which trades a bit of concealment for more agility. She's the first American battleship with respectable secondaries. Cost: Undisclosed at the time of publishing. Patch & Date Written: Patch 0.6.15.1 to 0.7.5.1, January 13th, 2018 until June 20th, 2018. Yes, really. She had a long development cycle. PROs Excellent anti-torpedo protection with a 46% damage reduction. 50% faster reset timer on her Repair Party consumable, allowing her to recover damage more quickly. Low velocity 406mm shells have good overall dispersion area and her AP shells hit like trucks. Improved secondaries compared to Alabama with 2.5km additional range, 50% faster rate of fire and 40% increased accuracy. Excellent anti-aircraft firepower. Very agile for a high tier battleship -- even more so than Alabama -- with a great rate of turn. CONs Very vulnerable to cruiser-caliber HE fire with the majority of the ship having only 32mm of protection. Main battery is short ranged at 18.3km base. Main battery dispersion is a bit wonky with 1.7 sigma. Secondary guns are small caliber and struggle to deal direct damage to most targets. Horribly slow for a tier VIII battleship at 27.5 knots. Large surface detection range for an American battleship at 16.6km base. Overview Skill Floor: Simple / Casual / Challenging / Difficult Skill Ceiling: Low / Moderate / High / Extreme Since the lowering of the citadels of high tier American battleships, they've become much more forgiving to play. They're not as brainless as British or German battleships, but they're still a comfortable ride. Any player of any skill level can pick one up and do reasonably well with them. Massachusetts is only a little more difficult (but only slightly) due to her temperamental main battery dispersion. For Veterans, Massachusetts' poor sigma value and mediocre concealment will prevent her from becoming the darling of many. She's a medium-range brawler that falls apart up close. Her overall carry potential is limited. However, she does allow players to make use of island terrain in the same manner as an American light cruiser to lob her secondary shells at targets they cannot hit with their main battery (which is a nice trick). Jousting and brawling skills will also help here. - One of, if not the worst at its tier. This is a pronounced weakness. - Middle of the pack at its tier. Not terrible, but not terribly good either. - Has a significant advantage over her tier mates. A solid, competitive performer. - No other ship at its tier does this as well as this ship. Massachusetts looks like a rather mediocre and safe offering and that's not far from wrong. While there are remarkable aspects about it, Massachusett's firepower merits only a rating. As good as her secondaries are, they are only a situational weapon. That doesn't make up for the deficiencies with her main battery. With the lowering of the American citadels, their biggest weakness was safely moderated. They're still among the most fragile of the tier VIII battleships. Thankfully, Massachusetts has a Repair Party bonus which puts her solidly in the category. Where the South Dakota-class really shines is in their Agility and Anti Aircraft firepower. Both merit a evaluation. Finally, for Vision Control, Massachusetts has a disappointing surface detection and sits in the bottom half for her tier. She only gets a score here. Options Massachusetts has a couple of oddities to be aware of. First, she's an American Battleship. This has three effects: Her Damage Control Party has a 20 second active period instead of 15 second of other battleships. She does not get access to Aiming System Modification 1 in her third upgrade slot. Instead, she gets access to Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 in her third upgrade slot. Furthermore, Massachusetts has a unique Repair Party consumable with a faster reset timer Consumables: Consumable wise, you have the choice between a Spotter Aircraft and a Catapult Fighter. This latter consumable offers 53 additional DPS. Massachusetts Repair Party has an accelerated reset timer of 60 seconds for standard and 40 seconds for her premium version. This is half the standard timer for other versions of this consumable. Upgrades The big question presented with your consumable options are as follows: You can largely correct her range deficiency by equipping Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1. This will boost her range back up to 21.2km (compared to 21.1km on a stock Alabama) and your Spotter Aircraft consumable can boost it further. The most appealing and gimmicky choice is to emphasize her secondaries and take Secondary Gun Modification 2. Her accuracy with her secondaries will be boosted to 68% greater than most other ships. Finally, in the question of defense, you must choose between fire damage reduction with Damage Control Modification 2 and further emphasizing her good agility with Steering Gears Modification 2 for her 4th slot. In addition, you have a choice between emphasizing the durability of your already-tough main battery armaments with Main Armaments Modification 1 or doubling the hit points of your secondaries with Auxiliary Armaments Modification 1 in your first slot. Camouflage Massachusetts comes with Type 10 Camouflage. During testing this was in the style of Measure 22 historical pattern but is set to change when the ship goes live. This provides: 50% bonus experience gains 10% reduction to maintenance costs 3% reduction in surface detection 4% reduction in enemy accuracy. During playtesting, Massachusetts used the Measure 22 camouflage (blue hull, grey superstructure). To my understanding, this is being replaced on live when she gets released with the black and grey scheme shown on the World of Warships devblog. Ye be warned, says I. Firepower Primary Battery: Nine 406mm rifles in three turrets in an A-B-X superfiring configuration. Secondary Battery: Twenty 127mm rifles in 10x2 turrets, Massachusetts is the fifth American battleship in World of Warships armed with 406mm/45 Mark 6 naval rifles. Colorado, North Carolina, Alabama and Alabama ST all make use of these guns and many players should be familiar with their performance. Generally speaking, these are accurate weapons with comfortable dispersion but they pay for this with lower muzzle velocity. They have longer shell flight times over distance than other battleships. Their heavy shells don't lack for penetration power, however, preserving energy well. They also hit like trucks. Official penetration values of American 406mm/45 Mk 6 Guns, taken from World of Warships Armada videos published by Wargaming. At the time of writing this, Massachusett's guns have the hardest hitting AP shell at tier VIII. They do 500hp more damage per shell than their closest competitor, the IJN 410mm guns found on Amagi and Kii. They far outstrip the 381mm/380mm guns of the Bismarck-class, Monarch, Richelieu, Gascogne and Roma. With nine guns and a 30s reload, Massachusetts is easily one of the hardest hitting battleships at her tier. Massachusetts falls behind the other American battleships for two reasons, however. She has the worst shell grouping out of all four previously mentioned battleships. She is also short-ranged. With a maximum reach of 18.3km stock, Massachusetts is one of the shortest ranged battleships at her tier, besting only Monarch and Roma. The impact of this flaw is mixed. It can largely be alleviated by taking the American upgrade, Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1, which resets her maximum range back up to Alabama levels. This is a less than ideal solution given Massachusetts secondaries which compete for attention with Secondary Gun Battery Modification 2 in the same upgrade slot. The alternative is to make use of her Spotter Aircraft consumable to temporarily boost her range when needed. This range deficit isn't terrible when the ship is top tier, but on some of the larger maps and against higher tiered opponents, this lack really begins to hurt, especially when compounded by her low top speed and surface detection radius. The second issue compounds on this problem, however. Massachusetts has the worst sigma value of any of the aforementioned American battleships with a 1.7 value compared to the 2.0 of North Carolina and 1.9 of Alabama, Alabama ST and Colorado. Her guns, while still boasting good performance, are overall less reliable. It's unlikely Massachusetts will ever be the darling of the competitive scene because of these flaws. On a per salvo basis, most players will struggle to see the difference between Massachusetts' accuracy and that of Alabama. Over the course of several matches this will be far more telling. Massachusetts will average less damage from her main battery due to shells straying from the center of her reticle. Massachusetts' claim to fame in game is that while she has the same 127mm/38 secondary armament as other high tier American battleships, they aren't nearly as lame. These guns are 40% more accurate and reload 50% faster while having 2.5km additional range over those on North Carolina, Alabama and Alabama ST. The range and rate of fire are easy to appreciate -- these are straight up buffs that any player can wrap their minds around. The accuracy buff is a little more challenging, however, and is worth examining further. Secondary dispersion buffs are multiplicative. There are four buffs available in the game currently for tier VIII secondary guns. In ascending order, they are: Secondary Signal: 5% dispersion improvement. 3rd Slot Main Battery Upgrade: 5% dispersion improvement. 3rd Slot Secondary Battery Upgrade: 20% dispersion improvement. 4th Tier Commander Skill: 60% dispersion improvement. Thus, Alabama and North Carolina could reduce their dispersion area down to 30.4% of its normal size with all upgrades and skills applied. Massachusetts, by contrast, can reduce hers down to 18.24% of Alabama's dispersion radius. As fun as these big numbers appear, it really doesn't mean anything without seeing it applied. To this end, I ran tests to compare secondary accuracy with the assistance of the WGNA Forums community (thanks, guys!). Only misses were recorded and then not all of them (there's splash render issues at that much zoom). It took about 20 to 30 hits to sink Mahan, including a fire. Not only does it take Massachusetts less shots fired to sink Mahan, thanks to her faster reload, it takes her less time too. In this demonstration, it took the stock Alabama roughly 4 minutes to sink the destroyer. Her fully upgraded self took less than 66 seconds to do the same. Massachusetts did it in less than 24 seconds. Hopefully that puts it into better perspective. Massachusetts secondaries are awesome at shredding enemy lolibotes. Even intervening terrain doesn't automatically keep an enemy ship safe. These are the same guns Atlanta uses, so their high arcs are legendary. If an enemy ship is hugging their island waifu and lobbing shells at you, your secondaries can hit them back and force them to back off. However there are three main problems with these guns. Her 127mm/38s lack penetration. They can only deal direct damage to areas of 21mm of armour thickness or less. This limits them to damage select cruisers and destroyers or the superstructures of more protected ships. If you take the Inertial Fuse for HE Shells you can increase their penetration to 27mm which will allow them to punish all cruisers within their matchmaking spread and lower tiered battleships. There is a catch to this though. Secondaries tend to aim for the waterline of enemy ships. At very close ranges, this will cause Massachusetts' secondaries to shatter against the thick belt of battleships and cruisers, mitigating some of her damage output. With Massachusetts' improved accuracy, she's very good at hitting the belt armour at close range so they tend to work best at distances of 5km+ against larger targets. Her 127mm/38s are terrible at setting fires. Though these guns have excellent reload rate, each hit only has a 5% chance base to start a fire. They cannot be relied upon to tax the Damage Control Party of enemy vessels. Each fire they do set should be seen as a bonus, not an inevitability. Their predictive aim is lacking. You'll find at the extremes of her range (distances greater than 9km) that these guns struggle to hit small targets that are constantly manoeuvring. This is probably owing to the long flight time of shells out to these distances. Any enemy lolibote would have to be out of her gourd for trying to get Massachusetts-senpai to notice her. Surprisingly, this extends to larger ships as well. Lert and I sat down and conducted some raw Bismarck vs Massachusetts tests. At 6km with both ships fully upgraded into secondary builds, Massachusetts out performed and sank Bismarck every single time (!). Bismarck just doesn't stand a chance against Massachusetts' damage output. Even with each ship destroying a couple of secondary guns per trial, Massachusetts won conclusively. Now that's all in theory, mind you. The reality of Random Battles (or Ranked) has so very often demonstrated that secondaries are a completely situational weapon. For every game where they perform phenomenally, there will be games where they contribute less than 1,000 damage. The question then becomes if Massachusetts' improved secondaries are worth the cost of the sigma and range difference from her sister ship, Alabama. I'm not convinced it is. It's certainly novel, but I wouldn't ever call it a fair trade. Massachusetts has less than ideal fire angles. Unmasking her X-Turret is just asking to get her penetrated through the front. Despite her secondaries, Massachusetts isn't ideally setup for brawling as you'll see in the Defense section below. Summary: 1.7 sigma hurts. Secondaries are surprisingly devastating. Unfortunately you can't always use them. Do you like to gamble? Her firepower is very RNG dependent between bad sigma and her secondary performance. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Amagi and North Carolina jockey for the top spot. Massachusetts would have needed better dispersion on her main battery and her improved secondaries to take this position. DefenseHit Points: 66,300Maximum Citadel Protection: 32mm + 310mm + 16mm roof Min Bow & Deck Armour: 32mmTorpedo Damage Reduction: 46% Massachusetts' durability is a bit of a mixed bag. THE GOOD: She has awesome torpedo defense -- one of the best in the game behind Alabama (49%), Musashi (55%) and Yamato (55%). I suppose you could call this good news for a battleship that's meant to be up on the front lines by design, not that I'd recommend eating fish if you can help it. Her citadel is fully submerged. All of the high tier American battleships (including Alabama) had their citadels lowered in early 2017. Massachusetts carries this same trend forward, making her much harder to get her machine spaces blown out. Awesome turret face armour. Massachusetts has 457mm turret faces and barbettes. The sloping on her turrets can bounce battleship caliber shells for days until you're in point blank ranges. Her Repair Party has a short reset timer. Massachusetts' Repair Party comes off cool down in half the time. She's better able to take advantage of multiple charges of her consumable when needed which increases the value of the Superintendent skill. It's easy for her to cycle through the maximum of five charges in a given match, giving her access to a larger health pool per game on average. THE BAD: Her citadel roof is 16mm. So if an enemy battleship shell does manage to penetrate her belt at a shallow angle, she doesn't have roof armour thick enough to cause their shell to ricochet -- it will simply overmatch and deliver a citadel hit. This is devastating, especially at close range. This only applies to the areas over her machine spaces (her magazines are better protected), but her machine spaces are huge. Cruisers love to burn her. With only 32mm or less everywhere except her turrets, barbettes and belt, Massachusetts is highly vulnerable to cruiser-caliber HE shells. With the right captain build, any 150mm+ armed cruiser can hit her over and over and over again for massive amounts of direct damage, never mind the resulting fires. THE UGLY Her secondaries are fragile. Remember those secondaries? Y'know, the gimmick that's the big selling feature of this ship? Yeah, those. They pop easy. Like most secondaries, they are not particularly well armoured and if Massachusetts gets spammed by HE shells or British cruiser AP, she's going to lose these turrets quickly. There's not a whole lot you can do to protect them, either. At best, you can use Auxillary Armaments Modification 1 in your first slot to double their hit point total (from 800hp to 1,600hp) but that's not going to save them forever if they get taxed. Overall, Massachusetts' protection scheme is best suited to medium range (10km to 16km) engagement distances in World of Warships. This gives her a chance to use some of her vaunted agility to help dodge incoming fire (ooh, a segue!). Up close, she becomes too vulnerable to brawl effectively if she gives up her sides. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Massachusetts would need quite a bit to bump her out of the doldrums of mediocrity here. She's far removed from being and little more than a bad citadel placement away from . Bow tanking is still as effective as ever so long as the enemies oblige you by throwing anything smaller than 460mm rounds in your face. Here Massachusetts outplays a tier X Großer Kurfürst, bouncing her 420mm AP shells in a brawl and using her superior agility to keep on the Kurfürst's flank while never giving up her own. If they catch your side, you're dead stupidly quick. Agility Top Speed: 27.5 knotsTurning Radius: 710mRudder Shift: 15.7s Maximum Turn Rate: 4.5º/s Massachusetts is the most nimble battleship of her tier. It's a shame she wasn't faster. Her flexibility is limited. Once she commits to a given part of the map, there's little chance of flexing somewhere else, never mind dictating engagement distances. For a ship with a lot of secondaries, this is a shame -- you're only ever going to bring them to bear if someone makes a mistake (that someone may have been you). Due to whatever quirk it is that dictates energy preservation in a turn, Massachusetts holds onto an extra couple tenths of a knot over her sister ship when her rudder's hard over. Combined with her small turning radius, Massachusetts can change her heading faster than any other tier VIII battleship and giving her comparable handling to a high tier Soviet cruiser but with a much tighter turning radius You can see now why I lament her lack of speed -- she could have been the complete package. Massachusetts is a bit of a sluggabutt when it comes to initiating a turn, however. Her sloppy rudder shift time leaves a lot to be desired, even if it is around the norm for a tier VIII battleship. In order to take advantage of her high rate of turn, it's recommend to equip the Steering Gears Modification 2 upgrade, though this will come at a severe cost to her fire damage mitigation. Given that you're likely going to be eschewing fire prevention skills anyway to upgrade her secondaries, this isn't a bad investment. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : More speed. 27.5 knots just doesn't cut it if you want to be the best. Alternatively, shave off 50m from her turning radius. That will get people to sit up and take notice and steal the crown from Gascogne. Anti-Aircraft Defense AA Battery Calibers: 127mm / 40mm / 20mm AA Umbrella Ranges: 5.0km / 3.5km / 2.0km AA DPS per Aura: 151 / 238.5 / 120.5 Out of the seven American battleships at tier VIII+, Massachusetts has the least DPS but her effective AA DPS is better than Alabama and Alabama ST's and sits just behind North Carolina. Massachusetts is a powerful anti-aircraft platform. Her heavy secondaries are a mixed blessing as far as her AA defense goes. She's more likely to have skills like Basic Fire Training and Advanced Fire Training which will emphasize her AA power further but her upgrade slots will likely be filled with secondary-specific or range boosting modules rather than AA Guns Modification 2. This upgrade is necessary to truly solidify American battleship AA defense and without it, the range gap is enough to allow aircraft to make their drops. Still, Massachusetts presents a thorny target most CV players would rather avoid. Her dispersed AA guns makes her overall defense less vulnerable to being knocked out by cursory HE shells and it takes a sustained bombardment to suppress them fully. Her small and medium caliber AA guns are nicely dispersed, making them more difficult for single volleys of battleship caliber HE from Royal Navy battleships to neuter her AA power (they may have to shoot you twice instead). Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : More firepower or more range -- something to make her stand apart from the likes of North Carolina & Kii. Refrigerator Base Surface Detection Range: 16.56km Air Detection Range: 12.18km Minimum Surface Detection Range: 12.43km Detection Range when Firing from Smoke: 16.01km Main Battery Firing Range: 18.27km Detection Consumables: Spotter Aircraft / Float Plane Fighter So now we get to the bad news. Massachusetts has a big butt (and I cannot lie). While none of the American battleships are contending for a top spot in terms of concealment at tier VIII, Massachusetts is definitely the worst of the bunch. North Carolina's stock concealment is 900m better, for example. For a short ranged battleship with secondaries as her gimmick, more concealment would have been preferable, not less. It's only thanks to the failures of Amagi and Kii that Massachusetts has any pretense of mediocrity. As it stands, she hangs out with the chubby Richelieu and Gascogne in the bottom half, just behind Tirpitz in overall badonkadonk size. The only spot of good news is that her aerial detection range is excellent and can be reduced down to just over 9.4km after all upgrades, which gives her a little more flexibility while moving into position. One of the fun tricks you can pull off with Massachusetts involves taking advantage of smoke mechanics. Secondaries won't give away your position in smoke the same way as main battery guns will. So you can park Massachusetts in friendly smoke and let her secondaries go to town. It's hilarious. It's not terribly effective, mind you, but hilarious. Just make sure your friend has Hydroacoustic Search to spot those incoming torpedoes well in advance. Evaluation: What it would have needed to be : Lose 900m off her stock surface detection range or give her access to a game-breaking consumable like Missouri. No more Drama Llama There's only one skill build worth considering for Massachusetts despite what common sense will tell you: That's to go all out on her secondaries and never look back. No, this build isn't optimal, but it's FUN, damn it. MAN-otaur approved. Seriously, though, if you want a good build, take Superintendent to maximize her awesome Repair Party consumable. Build the rest as you will. Final Evaluation The story of Massachusetts in World of Warships begins with Alabama. Alabama was originally going to be for Supertesters only as a reward ship for those who had performed exemplary service in this volunteer role. The masses like you and I, were going to get her equivalent in the form of Massachusetts -- not-quite a clone with small differences here and there (slightly more agile, slightly less stealthy and a different small & medium caliber AA suite). But it wasn't meant to be. The community blew up and Alabama was released to the masses and Massachusetts suddenly found herself with an identity crisis. I've had my hands on this ship since December of 2017 and she's been in the works since at least August of that same year. This ship has gone through several different iterations with development accelerating towards late Spring of 2018 (which undid a lot of my previous work). I'm pleased with the final result, but there's a caveat: This is one Hell of a fun ship to play but she's not good. Secondary built ships are seldom optimal. Their gimmick is just too situational to top more well rounded ships. Massachusetts gives up a lot to be a secondary monster. As much fun as her pew pews are, they're not going to win many games in of themselves and she's not an ideal platform upon which to base such weapons. Bismarck, Gascogne and Tirpitz could have told you as much. These ships are all reliant upon a combination of factors to keep them relevant and competitive, between turtleback armour, amazing speed, torpedoes, agility, rapid fire guns and/or Hydroacoustic Search. Massachusetts weighs in among these brawlers with arguably the best secondaries of the bunch and a Repair Party that's available in half the time. She has nice agility and good AA power. But she's too slow. She's too easily spotted. This isn't enough to take the top spot from the brawlers. If people were hoping for another Tirpitz, we got what amounts to another Kii instead. So if she's not top dog among the brawlers, where does this leave her? Her artillery is only ever going to be okay with 1.7 sigma, so she's not going to compete with the likes of Alabama, North Carolina or Amagi. Even Kii arguably outshoots her with her ten guns to Massachusetts' nine. She's only ever going to be a mediocre artillery platform. And it's not like the combination of the two unlocks some new paradigm either. No, Massachusetts isn't good. She's not terrible either and her game play is fun and different from anything else in the American battleship line. That's good enough for me. I'm glad to see this final chapter of Alabama-gate come to a close on a relatively positive and interesting note. Would I Recommend? So if you could only have one high tier premium American battleship, which should be it be? Missouri, Alabama or Massachusetts? Not that she's available anymore, but Missouri is the defacto winner. Surveillance Radar and her broken, overpowered economy is just too good to pass up on. Out of the two remaining ships, Alabama is superior. She's well rounded if offering very little that's different compared to North Carolina. What Massachusetts offers is unique game play. That's it, really. She'll earn the same amount as Alabama, but you'll have to work harder for the same gains. PVE Battles How well does the ship maintain profitability in Co-Op modes and how does she fare against bots? Very yes. Bots will rush you without hesitation, bringing them into secondary range. That's exactly where Massachusetts wants 'em. Easy mode! Random Battle Grinding:This includes training captains, collecting free experience, earning credits and collecting signal flags from achievements. Yes. Massachusetts works well in Random Battles. She's great for farming Close Quarters Expert achievements. Team up with a smoke laying friend for extra hilarity. For Competitive Gaming:Competitive Gaming includes Ranked Battles and other skill-based tournaments. This also includes stat-padding. No. I'd give Massachusetts a pass here. Alabama is superior to Massachusetts and North Carolina bests them both. If you want to bring a brawler, dust off Bismarck or Tirpitz. For Collectors:If you enjoy ship history or possessing rare ships, this section is for you. Yes. She earned 11 Battle Stars in WW2 and is preserved as a museum ship. For Fun Factor: Bottom line: Is the ship fun to play? Yes. Secondary spec'd battleships are derpy fun. What's the Final Verdict?How would the ship rate on an Angry YouTuber scale of Garbage - Meh - Gud - Overpowered? GARBAGE - The boat is unbalanced, not fun to play and weak. The ship desperately needs some buffs or some quality of life changes.Mehbote - An average ship. Has strengths and weaknesses. Doesn't need buffs to be viable however she's not going to be considered optimal.Gudbote - A powerful ship, often one of the best ships at a given role within its tier. Usually considered optimal for a given task.OVERPOWERED - The boat is unbalanced and powerful. Typically she's either horrible to play against or she redefines the meta entirel In Closing This has been one Hell of a busy month. I'm still not caught up on everything that needs doing, though I'm happy to say that I am making gains on my work pile. This review is getting published five days sooner than I thought I might with only minimal corner cutting. So yay! Next up will be a review of HMCS Haida, due out before July 1st. Happy Canada Day to you all! If you enjoy my work, please consider supporting me on Patreon. Appendix A list of sites, programs and people I rely upon to create my reviews.
  23. captain_fearless

    Izumo is funny

    Why does Izumos superstructure gotta look like one of those Easter island statues 🗿?
  24. Providences

    FXP to Lion?

    Hi, so I just got back into WoWS since the whole quarantine thing happened, and I'm finishing lines that I've already started. Started playing the North Carolina and absolutely loved it. It didn't even feel like a grind, it was more of me just having fun with a great ship. The Monarch, however, is dreadful in comparison. I don't even know where to begin. It has garbage guns that are lower caliber. 15 inch guns with Bismarck-esque (or even worse) dispersion, VERY poor penetration compared to the NC, and even lower fire chance than the KGV. Not to mention the back gun arch is awful too. The Monarch also sucks in HP, being the lowest of all tier 8 BBs. Not to mention that everything pens you and you have a massive superstructure to farm HE damage off of. Apparently one of the strengths of the Monarch is the armor, but that's not working either. I'm not doing bad in the ship, but I absolutely hate playing it. I don't even understand what kind of role this ship is supposed to play. I knew the Monarch was a let down after the KGV, but I was not expecting this pile of heaping 💩 Please, correct me if you can. I hope that I'm wrong and just not playing the ship correctly. However, I do not think that's the case. I understand that it has great concealment, but I can rarely use it because I'm usually plane spotted. What role did this ship even fulfill? How are you SUPPOSED to play it? Or, is the better alternative just to FXP to the Lion because I'm certainly tempted to follow that path.
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